Russia’s Anti-Corruption Struggle

Russia’s Anti-Corruption Struggle

Image from Russia, by Alexander Anufriev

A protester is led away by police officers during an anti-corruption protest on June 12, 2017 in Moscow.

Russia is claimed to be one of the most unequal of the world’s major economies, with the richest 10% of Russians owning an estimated 87% of all the country’s wealth. This inequality is in part attributed to corruption, but charges are rarely brought against the political elite despite evidence of their corrupt behaviour. Led by the popular opposition figure Alexey Navalny, anti-corruption activists staged nationwide protests on June 12, 2017 as the country celebrated Russia Day. Over 1,000 protestors were detained.

Navalny has alleged corruption at the highest levels of the Russian government. After campaigning in 2017 for the presidency, he was barred from running in the 2018 election. This ban was due to an embezzlement-related conviction following a trial later called “arbitrary and unfair” by the European Court of Human Rights. The 2018 election resulted in Vladimir Putin securing a fourth presidential term. Putin has been in power in Russia, as either president or prime minister, since 2000.

Alexander Anufriev was born in Ukhta, Russia, and worked at an advertising agency after buying his first camera in 2012. Since completing a documentary program at the Rodchenko Art School, he works on projects describing and analysing the social landscape of contemporary Russia.