Well done, Vlad!
Just in case you thought of Putin as a pathetic bumbler, here is one area where he succeeded in making his country a world leader. Transparency International has just updated its Corruption Perception Index, and Russia moved closer than ever to the top spot.
Left behind in the dust are such inveterate rivals as Ethiopia, Mozambique, Mali, Tanzania, Erithrea, Madagascar, Niger, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Honduras, Togo, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Haiti, Cambodia, Guinea-Bissau, and Papua New Guinea.
Unsurpassed yet are two dozen countries such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Chad, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Irak, and the current leader Somalia, numbered 178.
That may be a tough challenge, but the rising trend line, together with Putin's well-known personal honesty and financial talents of his inner circle all but guarantee that these remaining contenders will be easily overtaken within 3 years at most.
Way to go, Vlad! Ours the right cause! The victory shall be ours!
P.S. Meanwhile, the thieves who stole $230 Million in the famous Hermitage case get awards:
"MOSCOW—Just days before the one-year anniversary of the death of investment-fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail, Russia's Interior Ministry issued decorations to several of the officials responsible for putting him there...
Irina Dudukina, spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry's Investigative Committee, which charged Mr. Magnitsky and his client, U.S.-born fund manager William Browder, with tax evasion, said "everything has been checked" over the year. "The investigators were checked, the judges were checked—and they didn't find anything," she said...
Messrs. Magnitsky and Browder accused the Investigative Committee of fraud. They alleged Interior Ministry officials used material seized in the tax-evasion case involving Mr. Magnitsky to fraudulently get $230 million in tax refunds from the Russian government. The committee denied the allegations.
The U.S. Congress is considering a bill to impose financial sanctions and visa bans on 60 Russian security officials that Mr. Browder alleges were involved in the fraud. Russia's Foreign Ministry has denounced the proposal.
Ms. Dudukina was among those who got special awards, along with Oleg Silchenko, who led Mr. Magnitsky's case and was granted the "Best Investigator" badge".