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Corruption in the Russian Armed Forces resulted in losses
Corruption in the Russian Armed Forces resulted in losses of 2.2 billion rubles ($78.6 mln) to the state budget in the first nine months of 2008, a Russian daily cited a senior prosecutor as saying on Tuesday.

The number of corruption-related crimes in the Russian Armed Forces totaled 1,400 during the period.

"I have to admit that the number of corruption cases increased by at least 30% compared to the same period last year. The damages amounted to 2.2 billion rubles, which is enough to buy at least 30 modern T-90 main battle tanks," Gen. Maj. Alexander Sorochkin, deputy chair of the Prosecutor's Office Investigations Committee, said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on Tuesday.

The official said every third suspect in military criminal cases had been charged with corruption.

"Criminals often use illicit financial schemes to steal money from the budget," Sorochkin said, adding that generals were involved in at least 18 of the corruption cases.

Russia's chief military prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky said on November 6 that while the total number of crimes had declined in the country, offences in January-September 2008 soared 220% among the interior troops, 60% in the Emergencies Ministry, more than 10% in the border guard units of the Federal Security Service, and 24% in the Defense Ministry.

Among these crimes, instances of bribe-taking and office abuse increased 50%, and over half of the offences were related to military property and budget funds.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made the fight against corruption one of his top priorities since coming to office in May, signing a decree to set up a presidential anti-corruption council just two weeks after his inauguration.


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