This article examines the options for redressing abuse of office available to citizens in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. I consider the courts, the procuracy, and the complaint mechanism as sites for citizens to lodge claims against abuse of office in late-Soviet and post-Soviet times. After the collapse of the Soviet system there was an attempt to overcome the Soviet legacy, to strengthen legal institutions and establish administrative justice. Analysis of Soviet and post-Soviet normative documents and statistical data allows us to argue that opportunities for Russian citizens to combat service crimes in the courts have improved substantially. However, the system for coping with abuse of office remains imperfect, and retains features of the Soviet legacy despite vague legislation about administrative justice and dual ways of coping with abuse through legal and quasi-legal mechanisms. The re-establishment of the complaint mechanism in the conditions of contemporary Russia exacerbates this imperfection. Overall, the complaint mechanism occupies a significant place in people’s options for making claims against officials, especially claims against high-ranking officials.

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