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In Russia, the price of bribes rise as its corruption rating slides

Russia ranked 154th on the annual Corruption Perceptions Index of 178 countries, sliding down eight spots from last year. A promised 'war on corruption' isn't yielding fruit.

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A war on corruption is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's signature policy, and he's staked his political career on winning it.

On Mr. Medvedev's watch, Duma deputies and state officials have been forced to file income statements for the first time, the police force has been overhauled, and arrests for bribe-taking have sharply increased.

So why is Russia getting lower marks for fighting corruption than in the past?

The latest sign that Medvedev's much vaunted anticorruption drive is faltering comes from the independent Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International, whose widely watched global Corruption Perceptions Index shows Russia slipping dramatically down the annual list of 178 countries, from 146th place last year to 154th. That puts it in league with countries like Laos, Kenya, and the Central African Republic.

The 8 worst countries on Transparency International's list

Russia has even fallen behind most of its post-Soviet neighbors, with Ukraine sprinting 20 places ahead and the hermit state of Belarus a full 27 places up the list.

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