Krasnoyarsk Minister Charged in $1-Million Scam

A senior government official in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk has been charged with embezzling 29 million rubles ($980,000) in state funds, investigators said.

In 2009, Krasnoyarsk Region Industry and Energy Minister Denis Pashkov used fake documents to allow a privately-owned plant to receive state subsidies as it had suffered losses, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on Monday.

Instead, Pashkov and his accomplice, Pavel Lusnikov, appropriated the funds themselves.

Earlier this month, prosecutors said $84 million of state funds intended for the volatile North Caucasus had been misapproproated in 2011.

Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev has made the fight against corruption one of the cornerstones of his four years in office, but admitted in January that he had achieved “almost no success.”

“The law enforcement system is affected by corruption no less than the state officials are,” Medvedev said. “We created anti-corruption laws but they failed to achieve their objectives.”

Russia rated 43rd out of 182 countries in Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Public anger over corruption has been enflamed by online activism, in particular the work of blogger Alexei Navalny, whose website Rospil exposes official fraud by monitoring suspicious state tenders.


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