High-Level Corruption Up, Crime Down in Military

A little more news on the military crime and corruption front.  Corruption is up at least 26 percent year-on-year for the first half of 2010.  General military crime, however, is down more than 10 percent.  Officer crime is down 11 percent.  And draft evasion declined by a factor of two.  Without reciting his recent figures on a 50 percent increase in dedovshchina, GVP Sergey Fridinskiy noted that prosecutors need to ‘activate their work’ against ‘nonregulation events,’ now that there’s a much larger number of conscripts in the ranks.

How do these numbers track with the past?  Just a few days ago, the GVP said general crime was down by 12 percent in all military units and by 15 percent in the Armed Forces.  The decline in general crime follows a reported decline in 2009 as well.  Corruption has accelerated in 2010 apparently.  In January and February, it was only up by 10 percent.  The number of officers convicted in corruption cases looks to be about the same this year as last, but the GVP may be on a pace to convict more generals in 2010.

“More Than 250 Officers Convicted for Corruption Offenses Since Beginning of Year — GVP”

“MOSCOW, 27 July – RIA Novosti. More than 250 officers, including seven higher ranks [general or flag officers], have been convicted for crimes of a corruption nature in the first half of 2010, the RF Main Military Prosecutor Sergey Fridinskiy announced Tuesday at an expanded session of the department’s collegium.”

“‘The quantity of offenses in the given (corruption) area for the first six months of 2010 increased by almost 26 percent.  The quantity of misappropriations, embezzlement, and exceeding duty authority grew.  270 officers, including seven higher ranks [general or flag officers], were convicted for such crimes in the indicated period,’ – the press-service announcement quoted Fridinskiy.”

“According to him, military prosecutors uncovered more than 128 thousand legal violations, nearly 17 thousand officials were brought to account, more than 4.6 thousand people were convicted for various crimes, and the rights of more than 270 thousand servicemen were restored.  And 3.3 billion rubles were returned to the state as a result of prosecutorial investigations.”

“At the same time, the prosecutor noted a tendency toward a reduced number of crimes in the RF Armed Forces.”

“For the first half year in the RF Armed Forces, other troops, military formations and organs 10.5% fewer crimes were committed than in the same period of 2009.  The quantity of grave and particularly grave crimes, including those causing grave bodily harm, declined.  The quantity of  military service evaders declined almost two times.  In the current half year a decline – almost by 11% – was registered in the number of crimes committed by officers,” – Fridinskiy was quoted in the statement.”

“Taking note of the increased number of conscripts, the Main Military Prosecutor directed his subordinates to activate their work to uncover nonregulation events in military collectives, the announcement said.  Fridinskiy noted that ‘in connection with the continued growth of these legal violations we must, together with commands, come up with steps to more effectively implement systematic measures to prevent and interdict them.'”

Fridinskiy enumerated some predictable priorities for the GVP’s work during the balance of 2010 — struggle against corruption and misuse of budget resources, oversight of military reform, fulfilling legislation on the State Defense Order (GOZ), and ensuring housing and other social benefits for servicemen.

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