MOSCOW, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The amount of damage caused by corruption among Russian officials is "immense," the Russian president's chief of staff said.
Sergie Ivanov, chief of staff for the presidential administration of Russia, said corruption has cost the government $312 million so far this year, state-backed news agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday.
"In the past five years, 242,000-corruption-related crimes have been uncovered," he was quoted as saying. "The damage is immense."
Ivanov said an estimated 2,500 officials reported there were attempts to bribe them this year. More than 800 corruption investigations were launched so far and more than 300 people have been prosecuted for graft, he said.
A March report by Transparency International found more than 25 percent of the governors in Russia hid parts of their income. Of the 82 countries it reviewed, the watchdog organization gave the Russian defense sector a D-, one of its lowest rankings for transparency. More than two thirds of the countries it surveyed, however, scored lower than a D, with an F being the worst possible grade.
A Russian investigation committee said Tuesday it suspected two former Defense Ministry officials stole more than $15 million in state funds.