WikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as 'mafia state' Kremlin relies on criminals and rewards them with political patronage, while top officials collect bribes 'like a personal taxation system' | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


WikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as 'mafia state' Kremlin relies on criminals and rewards them with political patronage, while top officials collect bribes 'like a personal taxation system'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-russia-ma...

Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the leadership of Vladimir Putin, in which officials, oligarchs and organised crime are bound together to create a "virtual mafia state", according to leaked secret diplomatic cables that provide a damning American assessment of its erstwhile rival superpower.

Arms trafficking, money laundering, personal enrichment, protection for gangsters, extortion and kickbacks, suitcases full of money and secret offshore bank accounts in Cyprus: the cables paint a bleak picture of a political system in which bribery alone totals an estimated $300bn a year, and in which it is often hard to distinguish between the activities of the government and organised crime.

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