The growth of corruption after 1991 was probably unavoidable. The privatization of the state economy created favorable conditions for corruption, which did not exist before. The feudalization of a society, with its weakening of the state and the high autonomy of its office holders, was another major factor behind the outburst of corruption. However, while these “objective” factors account for a great part of corruption’s growth, the transformation of the leaders of the country to people who encouraged corruption for their own benefit—one of the major elements of feudalization—also played an extremely large role in spreading corruption inside the country.

Corruption poses greater concerns to society in the long term. Russian corruption undermines labor ethics, particularly among younger generations. Russian youths firmly believe that bribes and connections are the best and perhaps only way to become successful. Widespread corruption creates a parallel, semi-feudal chain of command that competes with the official hierarchy. The weakness of law enforcement agencies, as well as the army—now almost totally demoralized—is, to a great extent, the product of corruption.

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