Via a link on the FCPA Blog I saw today that a Siberian artist named Vasily Slonov has taken a humorous poke at Russia's growing reputation for corruption in business and government through the creation of specialized "bribe envelopes."
After all, why would anyone preparing to pay a bribe settle for stuffing cash in a boring and plain white envelope when they could use a bribe envelope specially decorated with the text of the Russian criminal code article that deals with bribery? "Friends, let's make life beautiful. Let's improve the culture of giving bribes," Slonov reportedly posted on his Facebook page as he announced his new creation, which can be seen below in this photo from The Moscow Times:
Slonov printed 100 bribe envelopes and promptly sold them all for 100 rubles each (about two dollars)-- including some sales to "corrupt bureaucrats themselves," he told The Moscow Times.
Slonov believes that bribes are an "intrinsic part" of Russian culture, an observation that is supported by the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International. According to the CPI for 2014, Russia ranks a dismal 136 out of 175 countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. The sea of red that represents Russia in the map below suggests that Russia should be fertile ground for Slonov's bribe envelopes (click on the image for a larger view of this map).