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Yeltsin pledges to end Russian government corruption


April 10, 1997
Web posted at: 3:05 p.m. EDT (1905 GMT)

MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin pledged Thursday to "fight to the end" against graft and corruption in Russian government. The pronouncement, made during a regular radio address, is part of Yeltsin's attempt to push the most blatantly corrupt officials from his government.

Yeltsin promised a month ago to stop corruption; he revamped the Cabinet and brought in a young reformer, Boris Nemtsov, to spearhead an anti-corruption campaign. He also decreed that all government purchases and services undergo competitive bidding.

But while Yeltsin says ending corruption is a top priority, many Russians fear his plan is doomed to failure. Bribery is so much a way of life in Russia that the Russian language has dozens of words to describe it, and sweetheart deals with federal contractors are seen as a major source of illicit income for some officials.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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