media Ifri in the Media
Défilé de la victoire sur la place du Palais à Saint-Pétersbourg, Russie - 05 mai 2024
Dimitri MINIC, quoted by Robyn Dixon in The Washington Post

In Putin's wartime Russia, military corruption is suddenly taboo

To be sure government spending reaches the battlefield in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is suddenly putting high priority on purging Defense Ministry officials accused of corruption. Russia's war in Ukraine has turned out to be a powerful anti-corruption initiative — at least at the Ministry of Defense.


For years, Russia tolerated rampant graft within its military and Defense Ministry. But in a bid to be certain that the country's ballooning military and security spending results in more soldiers, weapons and other equipment and supplies on the front line, the Kremlin has suddenly undertaken an aggressive crackdown — purging officials with extravagant lifestyles or who have been critical of the military command.


Dimitri Minic, an expert on Russia's military at the French Institute of International Relations, said the arrests were part of an effort to maximize military resources. But Minic said that corruption was used as a pretext to remove incompetent officials or to settle political scores. Often, it signaled infighting between agencies, he said.

A buildup of grievances over the handling of the war "open the way for all-out settling of scores conducted with the Kremlin's acquiescence, against the backdrop of an influx of resources into the Ministry of Defense and infighting for their control and capture," he said.


> Read the full article on The Washington Post website (subscriber only).


Vladimir Putin War in Ukraine Russia