How Russian tsars fought corruption

An unusual holiday is taking place on our planet on December 9 - International Anti-Corruption Day. They began to celebrate this event relatively recently, but they have been tirelessly fighting this evil for a long time. And so, interesting facts about the fight against corruption in Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Nicholas II.

Ivan IV, nicknamed the Terrible in Russian history, was rightfully considered one of the most effective fighters against corruption. The 1550 Code of Laws introduced a punishment for such a crime - the death penalty. By the way, the officials under Ivan the Terrible got it hard; during the years of his reign, about 8 thousand people who were in the state service were executed. In 1558, the French envoy Arnold Shemo wrote to his homeland: "Muscovy is unrecognizable - the fear of death has changed this country."

But the time of Ivan the Terrible passed, and everything returned to its place. By the beginning of the reign of Peter the Great, the size of the embezzlement was simply astronomical. It is interesting that Peter decided to fight this most irreconcilable way, there were repeated cases of executions of thieving officials. Once in the Senate, the emperor announced that he intends to issue a new decree, according to which he who stole money from the treasury in an amount sufficient to buy a rope will be hanged. But Peter's ardor was cooled by Prosecutor General Pavel Yaguzhinsky, who reasonably noted that the tsar risked being left without subjects.

Catherine II, struck by the scale of corruption in the Russian State, commanded that officials "abstain from such evil, and in the event of their crime, even after our admonition, they would no longer expect our pardon."

Nicholas the First also seriously dealt with this problem. The Third Branch, created during his reign, was supposed to eradicate bribery and embezzlement in the country. Alas, and Nikolai did not manage to defeat this "hydra", despite severe punishments, corruption flourished. The Englishman George Mellow, who visited Russia more than once, wrote: "In this country, everyone is trying by any means to get into the service of the sovereign, so as not to work, but to steal, take expensive gifts and live comfortably." Yes, and the emperor himself once sadly remarked that only he and the heir were not stealing from his entourage.

Under Nicholas II, corruption in the country reached astronomical proportions, although a new Criminal Code was issued, in which the concepts of "bribery" and "covetousness" were separated. The First World War forced to toughen the struggle with amateurs to put their paws into the state pocket. On January 31, 1916, the penalties for malfeasance in the supply of the army and navy were increased.