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Russian Deputy Defence Minister Ivanov detained for accepting large bribes, sparking elite speculations and corruption crackdown



Russian Deputy Defence Minister Ivanov detained for accepting large bribes, sparking elite speculations and corruption crackdown

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Ivanov detained for accepting large bribes, sparking elite speculations and corruption crackdown


In a dramatic turn of events, a Russian court has ordered the detention of Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov on suspicion of accepting substantial bribes, marking the most significant corruption case since President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2022.

Ivanov, a deputy to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, was apprehended at his workplace by the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia’s primary successor to the Soviet-era KGB, for his alleged involvement in accepting substantial bribes. The Basmanny District Court in Moscow has decreed that Ivanov be held in custody until June 23, further intensifying the scrutiny on corruption within Russia’s post-Soviet armed forces.

The court proceedings depicted Ivanov, 48, clad in uniform, standing within a glass enclosure with a slight frown, as captured by footage released by the court service. The accusations against Ivanov suggest his complicity in a criminal conspiracy with third parties to commit organized crimes related to procurement and sub-contracting activities for the Ministry of Defence, involving substantial sums of property and services.

Denying the allegations, Ivanov faces a potential 15-year prison sentence if found guilty. The case has garnered extensive coverage in state media, sparking speculation about internal power struggles within Russia’s elite and signaling a potential crackdown on corruption, a persistent issue within the country’s armed forces.

The arrest of Ivanov, a close confidant of Shoigu, has sent shockwaves through the Russian military establishment, with some bloggers celebrating the downfall of a high-ranking military official associated with opulence that contradicts Putin’s wartime directives.

According to a Russian source speaking anonymously, Ivanov’s arrest deals a significant blow to Defence Minister Shoigu, a key Putin ally, though his position remains secure amid anticipated government reshuffles. The Kremlin confirmed that both Putin and Shoigu were informed of the situation, while the defence ministry refrained from commenting on the matter.

Accompanying Ivanov in the charges is his close associate Sergei Borodin, also implicated in the conspiracy to accept bribes. Ivanov, who has served as deputy minister since 2016, oversaw various departments within the defence ministry, including property management, housing, construction, and mortgages, areas that have seen increased spending since the onset of the Ukraine conflict.

Reports indicate that the investigation into Ivanov has been ongoing, with the FSB’s military counter-intelligence department actively involved. The Kremlin dismissed speculation about Ivanov’s involvement in treason as baseless, attributing it to pure conjecture.

Ivanov’s lavish lifestyle, as alleged by Russia’s Anti-Corruption Foundation led by the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, has long been a subject of scrutiny, with accusations ranging from extravagant purchases to corrupt practices in state reconstruction projects.

Forbes magazine listed Ivanov among the wealthiest individuals within Russia’s security structures, underscoring the magnitude of the allegations against him. Despite his previous achievements in Russia’s atomic energy sector and regional government, Ivanov now faces a daunting legal battle amid mounting accusations of corruption and malpractice.

Putin’s recent directive to the FSB to combat corruption in state defence procurement further underscores the severity of the issue, signaling a renewed effort to root out corruption within Russia’s military apparatus. As the case against Ivanov unfolds, the implications reverberate throughout Russia’s military hierarchy, with many anticipating further revelations in what could be a watershed moment in the country’s fight against corruption.

In the words of pro-Russian military blogger Yuri Podolyaka, “This is a tectonic shift…and this is not just about Ivanov. I hope this is only the beginning.”

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