Russian Deputy Defence Minister Detained over Corruption Suspicions

Wed Apr 24 2024
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MOSCOW, Russia: Russian Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov has been detained by law enforcement officers on suspicion of taking bribes, Russia’s Investigative Committee said Tuesday.

The development comes as a rare move amid the offensive in Ukraine. President Putin has been informed of the detention of the high-ranking official, according to Russian state-media.

Anti-corruption activists have for years slammed what they believe is widespread corruption under Putin’s rule.

“Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Timur Vadimovich Ivanov has been detained on suspicion of committing a crime under part 6 of article 290 of the Criminal Code (taking a bribe),” the investigative committee said on Telegram without giving any more details.

The offence is punishable by a huge sum of fine or over a decade in prison depending on the nature of the crime.

The European Union has slapped sanction on Ivanov being the defence ministry’s top official in charge of construction of military facilities.

He was the subject of an investigation published in 2022 by the Anti-Corruption Foundation. The organization created by opposition leader and Putin’s critic Alexei Navalny who died in prison in mid-February, was, however, banned for alleged “extremism”.

The report said the deputy minister oversaw — and profited from — construction projects in Ukraine’s Mariupol, which fell to Moscow after a months-long siege.

According to the probe, the minister divorced his wife to allow her to bypass EU sanctions.

Commenting on the development, the head of investigations at the foundation, Maria Pevchikh, said on social media: “Today is a good day.” Like most high-profile opposition figures, Pevchikh was forced into exile by the Kremlin’s repression.

Most of the opposition remaining in Russia is behind bars.

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