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24 Apr, 2024 08:33

Details emerge of high-level Russian military corruption probe

Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov has been under suspicion for years, according to media reports
Details emerge of high-level Russian military corruption probe

The arrest of a senior Russian military official this week was the result of a lengthy corruption investigation, according to multiple media reports. Court proceedings on Wednesday revealed a second suspect in the same case.

Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was taken into custody in a surprise move on Tuesday evening. Hours earlier, he had participated in a top-level meeting which was chaired by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

Ivanov is suspected of large-scale bribe-taking, the Investigative Committee said, defined in the penal code as accepting corrupt payments amounting to over 1 million rubles (over $10,500).

A TASS law enforcement source said investigators had been pursuing Ivanov for a long time, “not since yesterday or a month ago.” The news website lenta.ru reported that the probe had taken at least five years, according to its source.

Initial reports claimed that several suspected accomplices had been arrested alongside the deputy minister. One of them, identified as Sergey Borodin, was brought before a court in Moscow on Wednesday, where a judge ordered his pre-trial detention. 

Details emerge of high-level Russian military corruption probe

A military service member of the same name was mentioned in the Russian press two years ago. At that time, Colonel Sergey Borodin took a plea deal in a criminal case involving the embezzlement of large plots of land owned by the military.

The former deputy head of a directorate responsible for housing troops agreed to testify against other individuals involved in the criminal conspiracy, reports said. The corrupt operation allegedly continued for over a decade and resulted in losses of at least 900 million rubles ($9.2 million).

Ivanov, whose pre-trial detention was ordered by the same court on Wednesday, had been in charge of the Defense Ministry’s civil engineering programs since 2013. Shoigu appointed him as his deputy in 2016.

Ivanov also served as Shoigu’s deputy when the defense minister briefly served as the governor of Moscow Region in 2012.