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A new survey by a Russian small and midsized business interest group claims that pressure from government officials seeking bribes has risen dramatically in the last several years. While corruption in Russian businesses gained the spotlight in recent years after the Hermitage affair and the death of Firestone Duncan lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in police custody, business owners claimed that corruption is a systemic problem that is particularly targeting small business in Russia today. In the past half-decade, the number of those who say that they regularly face extralegal government pressure has nearly quadrupled.

According to the research, which is conducted yearly by the Russian Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs, the number of business owners who “regularly experience pressure from state establishments” has climbed to 36 percent of all the business owners polled in the anonymous survey. Those who have faced “at least one case” of pressure for bribes from the government stood at 36 percent, while those who responded that they had never encountered government interference dropped just below 50 percent. Those numbers show a significant jump from the first survey put out by the organization in 2006, with just 19 percent saying they faced regular pressure from government and 61 percent responding that they had never been targeted by corrupt officials.

The government organizations most often accused of seeking bribes were federal law enforcement, such as the FSB, followed by Russia’s tax administration, and federal agencies that oversee technology and the consumer market. One entrepreneur who asked for anonymity explained that small businesses with few employees are far easier targets for corrupt bureaucrats than larger enterprises. “The large scale of a business allows you not to pay taxes. In similar situations I explain that tens of thousands of people work in this business, who can come to this bureaucrat and stand under his windows,” he said, reported Gazeta.ru. As to why the number of business owners saying that they have faced corrupt officials in their work has grown in recent years, he suggested that this was a “consequence of a less formal approach to checks and to documentation.”

Ilya Khandrikov of the all-Russian Movement for an Honest Market advocacy group said that recent attempts at reforms within government agencies, like the Interior Ministry, had little effect on the situation as well, saying that corruption recedes for some time but then a “new ‘inventory,’ [of businesses] takes place, and a new wave of protection begins,” he told Gazeta.ru.

Masha Gessen, a Moscow based journalist and a former editor of Snob magazine, wrote an op-ed early this year which highlighted the stories of several business owners who claimed to have faced strong pressure from the government and ultimately went public with their accusations. She argued that corruption in the sector was also creating a culture of dissatisfaction with the government by leaving business owners little recourse to voice their concerns. “Sergei Kolesnikov was a medical supplies importer who was drawn into running a fraudulent charity that he claimed was used to build a palace for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the Black Sea coast. Valery Morozov owned a construction company that received lucrative Kremlin contracts but claimed that he was forced to do an ever-shoddier job as more and more money was siphoned off by highly placed officials,” wrote Gessen. “All of them had done business with the Putin government, perhaps pinching their noses doing it, perhaps not. But each of them had the deeply painful experience of being told that his skills, his intelligence and his experience were of no use to the people who run Russia.” срочный займ займы на карту срочно https://zp-pdl.com/get-quick-online-payday-loan-now.php www.zp-pdl.com hairy woman

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