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    Medvedev marks year in office with anti-corruption vow

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev marked on Thursday the first anniversary of his inauguration and vowed to continue the fight against corruption by taking the effort under his personal control.

    MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev marked on Thursday the first anniversary of his inauguration and vowed to continue the fight against corruption by taking the effort under his personal control.

    Medvedev, 43, was sworn in as Russia's president on May 7, 2008. He made the fight against corruption one of his top priorities during the election campaign.

    Speaking to a gathering of heroes of the Soviet Union in the Kremlin ahead of this weekend's Victory Day celebrations, Medvedev said Russia had "moved in the direction of a full-fledged fight against corruption" but admitted that "only the first steps have been taken."

    "The most important thing is that the state will be engaged in this. And I will certainly take care of this personally," Medvedev said. "We look at this problem openly."

    Shortly after his inauguration, Medvedev signed a decree to set up a presidential anti-corruption council and approved a plan to deal with the problem in July 2008, proposing that special units be created in every branch of government.

    In line with the plan, Russian military officers, customs officials, judges and police are also required to declare their income and assets.

    Medvedev's tax declaration published on the Kremlin official website put his 2008 income at 4.14 million rubles ($123,000). Medvedev's wife, Svetlana, has over 135,000 rubles ($4,045) in bank accounts.

    Meanwhile, according to a nationwide survey, over 50% of Russians believe that corruption is an unavoidable and permanent fact of life, with 44% of Russians considering the greed and immorality of officials the main causes of corruption.

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