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Leonid Bershidsky

Russia's Latest Matryoshka-Doll Corruption Scandal

President Vladimir Putin's fresh anti-corruption drive, possibly aimed at hijacking the opposition's political agenda, has opened a huge can of worms.

First, Putin fired his defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, and large-scale theft was allegedly uncovered in the Glonass navigation-satellite program and the Regional Development Ministry. Some commentators quickly decided this was mere window dressing to counter the corruption-fighting crusade of popular blogger Alexey Navalny, who in October received the most votes in an Internet-based election to the anti-Putin opposition's Coordinating Council.