07 March 2011

Signs of Life

Just from my observations on the street, its scope and structure suggests that corruption is a cancer that has reached into every corner of Russia's government, including its highest seats.  But, there has been little hard evidence implicating the highest seats.

New Tzar's New Versailles

That was until RuLeaks.net published a set of photos of a gargantuan palace being built, allegedly for Mr. Putin's personal use.  The palace's price tag is estimated to be $1 billion, of course funded by the public purse and built on public land.  The property is 750,000 square meters or 8,000,000 square feet in size (but you should have hardly noticed it because Russia is such a large country).

Rest Well With Conscience At Ease

This allegation raised a tiny stir; however, most (highly educated) folks that I spoke with regarding this matter shrugged it off and said things like "but what can I do?" or "in Russia, we expect leaders to be hungry."

Comment on RULeaks.net

But there is a small sign of life for civic pride in Russia.  That tiny stir was enough to get officials to publicly comment that the intention of using the palace for Mr. Putin's personal use was "journalistic fiction" and summarily dispose of the evidence by selling it for $350 million to one of the more reclusive Russian billionaires.

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