Accounting fraud is rampant in the Department of Defense, where hundreds to thousands of dollars are spent on small parts, equipment, or just strange things with no explanation and only public outrage when covered. Journalist investigations have noted that these expenses seem to be tied to the numerous classified operations, known publicly as “black ops”, which the government participates in that are questionably legal or outright illegal.
It is true that this is a major problem in the US. However, according to an article that appeared in Russian on Pravda, Russia also has a similar problem, where “thievery” is responsible for the theft of billions of rubles each year.
The Accounts Chamber of Russia estimated the damage that is annually caused to the federal budget by those wishing to “warm their hands on it.”
According to Alexei Kudrin, the head of the department:
“The House calculated the funds stolen from the budget in various ways – the amount of theft is“ impressive ”: annually it amounts to about 2-3 billion rubles. This is just what happens in criminal cases. The real picture, according to our auditors, significantly exceeds these figures. We we assume that there’s worth talking about hundreds of billions. ”
According to Kudrin, in 2019 alone, the Accounts Chamber revealed violations of the federal budget of 804 billion rubles.
“A third of them are accounting violations. They are corrected directly during inspections. Another third are violations of procurement procedures, which are not criminal offenses. Well, the rest are already covered by the Criminal Code,” the head of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation said. (source)
This is an incredibly large amount of money to be stoled through “accounting violations” or “procurement procedures”. The fact that these “procurement procedures” are resulting in the losses of billions of rubles but are not considered a “criminal offense” is a veritable (but not absolute) admission that they are being used legally but for something else.
We know for a fact that Russia does the same geopolitical nitpicking and fighting that the Americans do, but on a smaller scale because Russia lacks the financial resources that the US has. She tends to be more select in her approach because of this and so has to direct her money more carefully. As we and others have noted before, the Russians tend to run operations in places such as Cuba, Nicaragua, the east African corridor from Eritrea to Mozambique leading to the eastern points of South Africa, as well as within Central Asia.
The Americans are excellent at outright lying about their intentions. The Russians are not good at lying, but they are good at bluffing. This seems to be true here, for while one cannot say ‘the Russian are attemping to lie but failing’, and while one cannot assume directly and say that such gaps in expendatures are absolute proof of the diversion of funds for classified operations, what other explanation for this could there be, especially noting the ‘legal’ nature of said diversions?
In the 19th century, the British and Russian Empires both faced off in the “Great Game”. After the fall of the Russian Empire and her change into the Soviet Union, the fighting continued by way of the British and eventually the Americans, who have been particularly skillful in their execution. While the US lost come of the battles with the USSR, such as the Vietnam War, she overall gained the main advantage and through fights such as Operation Cyclone and other parts of the Gladio program defeated the USSR which resulted in her collapse and breakup. Putin now wants to revive the USSR, albeit Russia is much weaker and suffering from tremendous problems.
Two hundred years of fighting have continued and little has changed. Since this is so, one may assume that both nations, being very great and imperial powers with deep histories and a lot of influence, can say that they both use similar techniques to realize their ends. The difference is that the Americans tend to be more open about them, especially when caught, and the Russians tend to cover them up but like the Potemkin village, the truth is always exposed and eventually makes them look worse than what they already would have appeared to be.