Russian Officials Ordered to Reveal Yearly Incomes in Attempt to Halt Corruption

Russia's civil servants must now publish their yearly incomes, according to a series of decrees signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at uprooting corruption.

Those applying for public office must also reveal their incomes, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Details of officials' incomes and property will be published on government Web sites each year.

Medvedev, a former law professor, has repeatedly called for stronger rule of law in Russia and pledged to fight rampant corruption. But there have been few signs of progress since he assumed office a year ago.

Last month, Medvedev attempted to lead by example by disclosing his income voluntarily. Since then all government ministers — including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — have submitted income statements to be made public.

Observers noted that many of the statements appeared incomplete, with expensive acquisitions by often unemployed spouses left unexplained.

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has ranked Russia near Bangladesh, Kenya and Syria in its global corruption index. A Russian prosecutor said last year that state officials' income from corruption was equivalent to about one-third of the country's budget.