Russia’s Civil Society Leads Authorities in Tackling Corruption – Panfilova

Russia’s civil society has seen a dramatic jump over the past three years and is doing much more to curb corruption than the authorities, Yelena Panfilova, an outgoing prominent member of the presidential anti-corruption and human rights council, said on Wednesday.

“Russia today is not the same country as it was when I joined the council three years ago; first of all, it’s about the society, not the authorities,” Panfilova said at a news conference in Moscow.

Panfilova announced last week that she was not planning to continue her work with the presidential council, which is expected to be reshuffled following the inauguration of Vladimir Putin.

While pointing to major difficulties in dealing with local authorities unwilling to sacrifice their power in favor of a more open and just society, she said that her decision to leave the council was not a fallout with the authorities.

“I believe that the society is doing much more and much better to counter corruption… than three years ago, and more than the authorities do,” she said, adding that she would continue her anti-corruption work as a civil activist.

Besides Panfilova, several other members of the presidential council said they would leave their posts in the near future. They said they were planning to continue their work by forming a non-governmental organization to deal with anti-corruption and human rights issues.

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