Saturday, March 16, 2013

Russia: Activists celebrate victory over corruption

Trust in public officials is low in Russia, and there's a growing civic movement determined to expose their vices.

Bloggers have embarrassed several pro-Putin officials of late, exposing their undeclared assets.

Mindful of growing public resentment towards the elite, Vladimir Putin has promised to fight corruption.

He dismissed his Defence Minister, Anatoly Serdyukov over graft allegations in November.

But Serdyukov is yet to face charges. Observers say Putin cannot afford to push too far.

On the face of it , civic activists have scored direct hits on Putin's deputies with several resignations so far in the parliament.

But there's a note of caution; Putin's United Russia Party has been coined by the opposition as "the party of swindlers and thieves."

Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker reports from Moscow.