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Russia: Yeltsin Wants Crackdown On Corrupt Officials

Moscow, 26 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin says criminals are trying to infiltrate Russia's regional and even federal administration, but he acknowledged his government was at least partly to blame for widespread corruption.

Yeltin, in his regular radio address today, said more than 2,500 officials are under investigation on suspicion of corruption. Yeltsin said at least two regional administration chiefs, eight generals and admirals, top customs and tax officials and even parliamentary deputies are currently either in jail or under investigation on similar charges.

Yeltsin blamed the government for not doing more to stem out corruption, but said it would not resort to what he called "show executions." Yeltsin appealed to the public to support his anti-corruption campaign and said the government should do more to deal with poverty, which drives people to crime.

Today's radio address was Yeltsin's latest drive against corruption among Russian officials. His Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov was due to report today to the Duma on a list of some 50 deputies who he claimed had criminal activities. However, Kulikov instead decided to send one of his deputies to the lower house for the briefing.