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Russian deputy defence minister held for allegedly taking bribes

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 12:46, 24 April 2024  
Russian deputy defence minister held for allegedly taking bribes

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov has been detained on suspicion of taking bribes, according to the country’s top investigative body.

The Investigative Committee said on Tuesday that Timur Ivanov was being held and an investigation carried out, BBC reports.

Mr Ivanov, 47, was appointed to the defence ministry in 2016 and was given responsibility for Russia’s military infrastructure projects.

Activists have long criticised the levels of alleged corruption in Russia.

In 2022, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), the group founded by late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, accused Mr Ivanov of participating in “corruption schemes during construction in the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia”.

In particular, it said he had profited from construction projects in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, much of which was destroyed by Russian bombing in the months following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Investigative Committee’s announcement of Mr Ivanov’s arrest did not indicate how the deputy minister responded to the allegations against him.

The section of Russia’s criminal code under which Mr Ivanov was detained - Part 6 of article 290 - applies when a suspected bribe exceeds one million roubles (£8,620; $10,700).

Offences are punishable by sizeable fines and up to 15 years in prison.

Mr Ivanov was previously deputy prime minister of the Moscow region, where current defence minister Sergei Shoigu briefly served as governor, and is said to remain a close associate of Mr Shoigu’s.

The detention marks a rare move against a member of Russia’s governing elite, many of whom are believed to have used their positions to amass vast personal fortunes.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that President Vladimir Putin had been notified of the detention in advance.

Mr Ivanov has been sanctioned by the US and UK and is the subject of a travel ban and asset freeze imposed by the European Union, which describes him as being “tenth in the overall hierarchy of the Russian military leadership”.