In the past few years, journalists and civil society activists have begun documenting globalized corruption on an unprecedented scale, from the Panama and Paradise Papers leaks and collaborative initiatives like the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to the countless individuals and organizations working at great personal risk in regions of marginal interest to mainstream international audiences. A special mention should be made of Forbidden Stories, a sadly necessary project which enables journalists to “swarm” the investigations of slain colleagues, ensuring that their killers’ attempt to silence them backfires spectacularly.
Kleptocratic regimes use corruption as a means of control at home and a weapon of influence abroad. Russian oligarchs and other Kremlin agents have become adept at exploiting the global financial system to launder illicit funds and convert them into new forms of power projection, including attacks on Western democratic institutions. This report outlines a policy checklist that, if implemented, would amount to a comprehensive and effective strategy for countering Russian kleptocracy.