Russia is massively corrupt and has huge income inequality matched only by some African nations. The question that immediately comes to mind is why? Despite its chaotic history, the modern reasons for Russia’s massive corruption and inequality aren’t very hard to pin down.
Russia’s infamous oligarchs are as corrupt as the sky is blue. They have enormous power in Russia. Many got rich after the fall of the USSR, buying up liquidated assets and state companies and charging an arm and a leg to ordinary Russians in the unstable aftermath of their whole world changing. Russian President Vladimir Putin is tightly connected with the oligarchs, who amass billions of dollars and help him keep his many billions in shady, personal wealth all around the world. The oligarchs keep ordinary Russians poor and leech as much money as they can out of every square centimeter of the economy and black market as possible.
Russia’s government is a nest of cronyism and corruption and is deeply intertwined with the oligarchs, mafia and corrupt lobbyists. While Russia likes to talk about the corruption of the US government on RT, they themselves have nothing to brag about, with endless lists of paying off their donors, sole-sourcing contracts, giving unfair incentives and tax breaks to friends and generally doing very little to help actual Russians do well and prosper in today’s world. Running off of major resource wealth, the government is basically a giant pool of donations to keep the scam going.
Not all of Russia’s banks are corrupt, but some definitely are – and they’re very corrupt. Recently Troika Dialog private investment bank helped launder millions of dollars by setting up fictitious trade deals, and that’s just one relatively small example. Russia’s banks have to work with the corrupt oligarchs and criminals who have so much power in the country now and then if they want to stay in business. It’s a dirty game, and Russia’s banks are far from snow white when it comes to corruption and the continuing inequality that plagues the nation.