Prosecutor: Endemic corruption within Russian armed forces

July 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

MOSCOW, July 11 (UPI) -- Corruption among members of the Russian military wound up costing the government more than $130 million, the prosecutor general's office said Thursday.

Russian prosecutors said the number of cases involving fraud or the abuse of office among members of the national military have doubled since last year.

The prosecutor general's office said overall crimes reported in the military were down in general, though 20 percent of the crimes reported this year were related to corruption, the government-supported news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The office said there was a "high level" of bribery, forgery and abuse of power among members of the Russian armed forces. For contractors, it cited one example of a company receiving more than $14 million on false claims.

"The amount of damage inflicted on the state by corruption crimes this year rose by five and a half times to more than $130 million," the prosecutor general's office said in a statement.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in June it signed more than $20 billion worth of contracts for 2013, about 80 percent of the quota for the year.

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