A Remark on the Article "The Black Hole of the Russian Budget’"

On 15 November 2011, Voennoe Obozrenie [Military Review] published Aleksey Volodin's article "The Black Hole of the Russian Budget".

On the whole, we can agree with the author's point of view. However, the article itself is not without certain limitations. First, the author fails to indicate the source of his data. As a result, it becomes difficult to explain the emergence of some new information unrelated to the studies carried out by our Institute - for example, the statement about "the 15% of that ultra-secret quarter of the whole amount of 1.3 trillion rubles" reputedly spent on some unidentified research in the field of national economic development. Or the emergence of the subsection "Physical Culture' in the Higher Education ‘segment'" of the RF Budget - if you look up the text of the Draft Budget for 2012, you will see yourself that physical culture is not included in the Higher Education section of the RF budget, while the term "segment" is used neither in the budget documents nor in the Budget Code of the Russian Federation.


And, second, the author's conclusion that it is not known for what purpose Rb 1.3 trillion was spent "over the past period of 2011" is rather dubious and should be deemed to be a literary device. Unfortunately, the purpose of that spending is well known - suffice it to read the Law "On State Secrets" and the list of information constituting state secrets. By the way, the penultimate paragraph of the article indicates that its author, in fact, is familiar with these documents.


The two explanations of the phenomenon of Russian secrecy put forth by the author are rather reasonable, but it should be pointed out that bonuses paid to high-ranking officials for their extraordinary efforts to safeguard state secrets amount to up to 75% of their official salaries, and not to just 25% as stated in the article. It is not surprising that expenditures on this ‘safeguarding' are not specified in the RF budget - and, consequently, are not controlled by anybody.


V. B. Zatsepin, Candidate of Military Sciences, Head of the Economics of the Military-Industrial Sector Department