Good news about Russian crime (even while recognizing how far there is to go)

Maybe I’m going soft in my old age, or maybe something really is changing – a little. My latest Moscow News column riffs off my blogpost on the conviction of Sergei Butorin – ‘Osya’ – on multiple murder counts to tease out some good news from Russia on the law enforcement front. Let’s be clear about this: there are still numerous and massive problems, not least of which is the endemic culture of corruption. Even the recent purge was often an excuse for further extortion, as venal senior officers gouged bribes out of their underlings in return for a clear report. But while holding in our minds that Russia is still plagues top to bottom with corruption, criminality and the abuse of power, let’s not refuse to acknowledge that there are some signs of progress…

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