25 million for the general patronage of idlers
In Russia, a new high-profile corruption scandal – Crimean Minister of Culture Arina Novoselskaya was detained on suspicion of a bribe of 25 million. She became famous throughout the country in March, when she swore at a government meeting. Unfortunately, her example once again shows: the quality of corruption in our country is so-so, limping on both legs, falling.
What, in fact, did they take Novoselskaya for? According to the investigation, in 2018 she received a bribe in the amount of 25 million rubles from the beneficiary LLC Meander for general patronage during the construction of the Crimean State Center for Children's Theatrical Arts in Simferopol. In fact, on the site of the puppet theater, which she once headed.
The project was estimated at more than 1 billion rubles. The construction was planned to be completed by the beginning of 2019, then by the end of 2019, then in 2020 (now in 2022). At the same time, Meander was engaged in the restoration of the Vorontsov Palace in Alupka, but by the summer of 2019 it had done very little.
A little earlier “Meander” was supposed to restore the Great Mithridates Staircase in Kerch, improve Mount Mithridates, organize an observation deck, recreate the Museum of Antiquities, and so on. But in September 2018, the Crimean government announced a waste of 167 million rubles during the reconstruction of the Mithridatskaya staircase.
Meander also had problems at other facilities – during the reconstruction of Chekhov's house in Yalta, the complex of structures of the Livadia Palace, the Swallow's Nest palace, the Surb-Khach monastery complex, the Uzbek Khan's mosque and madrasah in the Old Crimea, the Sudakskaya fortress ”, Pallas 'estates, buildings of the officers' assembly of the 51st Lithuanian infantry regiment in Simferopol. Actually, initially the investigators got to the bottom of Meander. And only then they went to the officials.
And now imagine that this construction company, which had “outlets” for officials, would have done everything right. It would be so nice to climb the brand new Mithridates staircase, visit the sparkling Vorontsov Palace, admire the Swallow's Nest. Even the thought would not have arisen that some Novoselskaya received 25 million “for the general patronage” of this beauty.
The Russian government announced the “aggressive” construction of infrastructure in the country (for 22 trillion rubles) as part of the implementation of national projects. But thanks to all the previous “technological breakthroughs” and other “breakthrough development”, in Russia, according to experts, there are no more than six large market participants, mainly from the number of state-owned companies that are capable of implementing such large-scale projects. It is obvious that they are all connected in one way or another with the top leadership of the state. Some (remember the Crimean bridge) are generally friendly with the most important thing. Will there be an opportunity to implement the corruption component during the implementation of projects? Formally, it will certainly be. But it’s better to let them build than not to build, like the same “Meander”.
Corruption cannot be defeated because it is the lubricant in the machinery of the capitalist economy. In socialist China, the economy is completely market-based, and since the beginning of the year twenty-three so-called “tigers” have been caught in corruption there. This is the name given to officials who hold the post of deputy minister or higher. The number of small bribe-takers caught has reached 4 million. However, China is in the middle of the corruption perception rankings.
For a long time Iceland led the Corruption Perceptions Index – it was considered the least corrupt country in the world. Until it was accidentally revealed that, in fact, there are persistent corruption ties between banks, several ruling families and the two political parties that have ruled the country for the past decades. However, at the same time, the citizens were happy – they did not notice the corruption in the government. When a city becomes prettier, only the most corrosive and highbrow grumbles (and rightly so) that it could be prettier without, for example, kickbacks. Now Iceland is in the index – in the second ten.
Corruption is everywhere and will always be. It will disappear only when every person believes in the Kingdom of Heaven – the scenario, judging by the last couple of thousand years, is quite fantastic.
So the question rests solely on the quality of corruption. In how carefully the powers that be put their affairs together (this happens in any country in the world) and what way it has for the citizens of the state. In 1997 (no earlier data), Russia was in 49th place in the corruption index, and in 2020 it was already in 133rd place. Even here we fail.