The Economics of Corruption
In a continuing scandal, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev is relieving senior officers who forced their subordinates to pay kickbacks for extra payments made to them as rewards for superior service. An Internet site was created through which personnel could report such practices, regardless of their rank. Whether or not the reports are warranted, such a website must be extremely destructive to military discipline. The Russian press suggests that the leadership limited the scandal in hopes it could avoid the reality that such corruption is virtually universal. An enraged retired lieutenant colonel of the Russian strategic rocket forces wrote that kickbacks were so widespread “it would be possible to jail all commanders of all units in Russia in good conscience” (italics in the original).