Despite its reputation, Russia has come a long way in its fight against corruption
It is 20 years since what I consider to be the darkest days of my nearly quarter of a century living and doing business in Moscow. It was then, during Black October, that lawlessness reached its zenith in Moscow. As Yeltsin's troops stormed the House of Soviets and arrested the parliamentarians who had plotted against him, it seemed as if all Moscow was armed and on the streets. More than 180 were killed at that time and many more injured. One of my own expatriate employees was seriously wounded in what was my most frightening experience as a businessman in Russia. Russia has come a long way since then but, for many, negative perceptions still dominate thoughts of doing business here: Russia is still the Wild East; it is riddled with corruption; and a place where the rule of law is on permanent vacation. Many people I know think that having a lawyer in Moscow is about as useful as having a shepherd in Milton Keynes.
New anti-bribery laws and overseas legislation are having a positive impact on Russia’s business environment
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