Corruption, the trading of favors, embezzlement, and favoritism are not just endemic in Russia, but part of a kleptocratic system of rule through which Vladimir Putin controls the elite, says analyst Mark Galeotti. Given this understanding, do such campaigns start as law enforcement and end up, intentionally or not, as foreign campaigns aimed at regime change? he writes for the European Council on Foreign Relations:
This is, after all, a perennial Russian claim, and one which has been given additional weight by a recent broadside by Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigations Committee, Putin’s inquisitor-in-chief…… His article was little short of a manifesto for an authoritarian and isolationist policy, in part driven by the way, in his view, international law has increasingly become a tool of “hybrid war” waged against Russia.
Like it or not, every time Western governments or foundations fund a Russian anti-corruption watchdog, or an election monitor, or a program to expose media bias, it is attacking pillars of the current political system. …..RTWT
On May 17, Hudson Institute will launch the Kleptocracy Archive, an online database of thousands of primary source documents showing the malfeasances of corrupt authoritarian regimes.
More than a year in the making, the Kleptocracy Archive will debut documents pertaining to individuals and corporate entities primarily from Russia and Ukraine. Each profile features a short biography and document folders including press reports, business records, banking details, and legal cases. This information has never before been collated into a comprehensive and easily accessible resource.
Charles Davidson Moderator, Executive Director, Kleptocracy Initiative, Hudson Institute
David Satter, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Karen Dawisha,Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science, Miami University
Glenn Simpson, Senior Fellow, International Assessment and Strategy Center