Chechen head goes on sacking spree

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has fired both deputy mayors of the republic’s capital Grozny as well as 17 department heads at the city hall.

All were dismissed for official misconduct. Some of those sacked will now also be investigated for corruption. Most of the cases relate to the allocation of flats and land.

Kadyrov stated he needs a professional team by his side instead of people with tarnished reputations.

Since the beginning of the year, Chechen police have filed nearly a hundred cases of forgery, misconduct or corruption by officials.

Ever-present corruption has long been one of Russia’s burning issues. President Medvedev has repeatedly named corruption as one of the most serious obstacles to combating terrorism.

Since Medvedev ordered the launch of a countrywide anti-corruption campaign, the authorities have tried various measures to put an end to thriving malpractices carried out by Russian officials.

The cost of a bribe in Russia has risen this year to $10,000, which is seven times more than the last year.

Even the 100-fold hike in fines for bribery has not stopped the practice. Medvedev’s corruption bill, adopted months ago, introduced provisions that increased fines for crimes related to bribery to 100 times the sum of the bribe, but not more than 500 million rubles.

New revelations of corrupt practices are published every day. On July 20, for example, the former head of Russia’s Nuclear Agency was arrested on suspicion of masterminding a scam to embezzle €1.25 million in research funding.

The stolen money was intended to be spent on improving safety at nuclear facilities in Russia – something vitally important, as the recent Fukushima disaster demonstrated.

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