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Russia under Prime Minister Putin a 'corrupt, mafia state': Wikileaks


December 2, 2010 - London

Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the leadership of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in which officials and organized crime are bound together to create a "virtual mafia state", according to classified US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website Wikileaks.

According to the Guardian, the cables paint a bleak picture of a political system in which bribery alone totals an estimated 300 billion dollars a year.

The principal allegations stem from a Spanish prosecutor, Jose Gonzalez, who has spent more than a decade trying to unravel the activities of Russian organized crime in Spain.

In a startling briefing for US officials in January, Gonzalez said that Russia was a "virtual mafia state" in which "one cannot differentiate between the activities of the government and OC [organized crime] groups".

Gonzalez said that he had evidence that certain political parties in Russia worked hand in hand with mafia groups.

He also alleged that the intelligence officials orchestrated gun shipments to Kurdish groups to destabilize Turkey and were pulling the strings behind the 2009 case of the Arctic Sea cargo ship suspected of carrying missiles destined for Iran.

The cables also said that rampant bribery acts like a parallel tax system for the personal enrichment of police, officials and the KGB's successor, the federal security service (FSB), while Putin is accused of amassing "illicit proceeds" from his time in office, which various sources allege are hidden overseas.

The allegations come hours before Putin was due to address FIFA's Executive Committee in Zurich in support of Russia's bid to host the 2018 Football World Cup.

ANI

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