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Russia's corruption rate in law enforcement up 35%

MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - The number of registered corruption-related crimes in Russia's law enforcement agencies increased more than 35% in the first nine months of 2008 to 1,401 instances, the country's chief military prosecutor said on Thursday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made the fight against corruption one of his top priorities since coming to office in May, signing a decree to set up a presidential anti-corruption council just two weeks after his inauguration.

Sergei Fridinsky said that while the total number of crimes had declined in the country, crime-related offences in January-September 2008 soared 220% among the interior troops, 60% in the Emergencies Ministry, more than 10% in the border guard units of the Federal Security Service, and 24% in the Defense Ministry.

He said that among these crimes, instances of bribe-taking and office abuse increased 50%, and that over a half of offences related to encroachments on military property and budget funds.

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