: Guardian: 'So what if Putin is corrupt?' - Russia remains unmoved by offshore revelations

14:59 Apr. 13, 2016

Guardian: 'So what if Putin is corrupt?' - Russia remains unmoved by offshore revelations

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meets with Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP)

Panama leaks have passed with little fanfare in a country where corruption is seen as part of the fabric of life

In Russia, corruption is considered in much the same way as the climate: something that makes life harder and causes constant grumbling, but is an unchangeable part of the fabric of life.

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"Of course all politicians are corrupt, we'll never be able to do anything about it," says Nadezdha, a 47-year-old housewife in the town of Kimry, about 100 miles from Moscow. She had not heard of the allegations in the Panama Papers, which suggested members of Vladimir Putin's family, and those close to him, had benefited from dubious cash flows. Instead, she insists the Russian president is part of the solution, not the problem.

"Poor Putin is trying to fight these bloodsucking bureaucrats, but he can't clean up everything on his own."

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Save for limited online discussion among the politically active classes – one video compares the bn (£1.4bn) that passed through a company controlled by Putin's friend, the cellist Sergei Roldugin, to state spending on healthcare, roads and pensions – for the most part the leaks have passed by with little fanfare. The allegations, published in Russia by the small independent paper Novaya Gazeta, were dismissed by Putin, and state TV, as a western plot.

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