Yesterday I made a speech at the State Duma hearings
devoted to the problems of city building.
The main idea of my speech was as follows: the notorious
“vertical of power” is the main source of corruption today.
The modern state President Medvedev is dreaming about does
not imply only the vertical of the executive power, it should
also imply horizontal of control over the executive by the
legislative and the judicial power.
When such a horizontal is lacking, we have an archaic and
weak state, or a corrupt state, to put it shortly, instead
of a modern and strong state.
I told this to Dmitry Medvedev during
our meeting on June 11.
The term “modern state” shifted from that discussion to the
topic of the conference in Yaroslavl. The term shifted, however,
the mechanisms of democratic governing I was speaking about
And with the help of simple examples I had to explain to
the leaders of the State Duma leaders, Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky
how an uncontrolled vertical of power boosts corruption. It
is very simple: via the laws they adopt in the Duma. These
laws give bureaucrats the right to uncontrollably dispose
of colossal financial and material resources.
First I shall speak about these material resources.
The land. The City Building Code allows to approve schemes
of territorial planning developed by the executive authorities
of regions and municipalities without any control on behalf
of the representative bodies; whereas undivided plots of land
can be transferred into private property without any tenders
– i.e. without transparency who gets them and for what price.
It is clear that some bureaucrats will get their remuneration
All this turns into a “black redistribution” of land and
absolutely open raiders’ attacks. The victims are ordinary
citizens who get rid of park and gardens, children’s and sporting
plots, as well as historical buildings of the old cities.
(The country has been literally loosing its history. And where
have you been Duma patriots?)
Now about the state budget resources, an example from the
There is an article in the Budget Code envisaging a possibility
to demand all the book-keeping reports from organisations
receiving financial aid from budgets of all the levels. It
should be noted that it is only a possibility and not an obligation.
They may demand that such information is revealed or may not
demand it. When banks were queuing for budget funds under
the pretext of a crisis – they did not demand it. And the
“aid” simply vanished rather than helped the real sector.
And now it comes out that that the banks were OK without this
aid. They simply distributed money as usually between their
So a simple replacement of the word “can” by the word “must”
in about twenty laws will reduce corruption by hundreds of
times, more than any recently established anticorruption commissions
and structures could do.
Russian corruption represents a violation of law by only
10%, as it is by 90% conditioned by these laws.
Back in Soviet times they wrote the laws keeping in mind
the “revolutionary legal consciousness”. The present authorities
do it proceeding from corruptive legal consciousness.
In these conditions a “fight against corruption” can be compared
with the following attempt to save a sinking shift: water
is flowing via holes in the board sides, however the crew
somehow “neglects” this continuing baling the water out of
the ship’s hold with a sieve.
Maybe the Russian economy, as [Finance Minister] Kudrin says,
has reached the bottom of the crisis and pushed upwards, but
such a ship will sink sooner or later anyway.
original (Sergei Mitrokhin's blog at Echo Moskvi web-site)
Anti-Crisis Proposals of the Russian
United Democratic Party YABLOKO. Handed to President Medvedev
by Sergei Mitrokhin on June 11, 2009