Once again Transparency International has released its independent study of world nations, reviewing each for the presence of social and governmental corruption. Once again, Russia's place on the list has fallen -- from #121 in 2006 to #143 last year. Russia is tied with Gambia and Indonesia, just below Pakistan and Syria, with a woeful score of 2.3 out of a perfect ten. The United States is #20, France is at position #19, Germany is #16 and Britain is #12. These are the nations Russia dares to claim the right to sit with at the G-8 table. Think Russia does better when compared to its neighbors in the former Soviet world? Think again. Russia's current score puts it a pathetic #13 out of 20 countries in Eastern Europe -- Georgia towers above it at #3.
Evaluating the TI scoring at the level of fine detail is actually a bit complicated. While each year more and more countries are found to be less corrupt than Russia, each year more and more countries are studied and the average score of the group, of course, changes. This means that Russia's position compared to the group under study actually hasn't fallen as much as superficially might appear by referencing only the numerical ranking tables, but that doesn't make Russia's performance any less abysmal. Russia under Putin is not remotely close to becoming a civilized nation.
Here are Russia's rankings going back to when Vladimir Putin first took over as president. The fraction is Russia's rank out of the total number of countries surveyed, with the #1 position being the least corrupt nation. In parenthesis is Russia's numerical score that generated its rank, out of a perfect "10" for total lack of corruption, followed by the percentile rank for that score compared to the average of the other nations). Basically, TI considers any score below a "5" indicative of barbarism. All the other G-8 nations mentioned above scored above a "7" and Britain came in with an 8.4 at the top of the group.
2002 -- 71/102 (score 2.7 - bottom 40%)
2003 -- 86/133 (score 2.7 - bottom 35%)
2004 -- 90/145 (score 2.8 - bottom 38%)
2005 -- 126/158 (score 2.4 - bottom 20%)
2006 -- 121/163 (score 2.5 - bottom 25%)
2007 -- 143/179 (score 2.3 - bottom 20%)