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Russia arrests a top general on corruption charges

By AFP

May 23, 2024 03:24 PM


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Russia arrested a senior general over corruption allegations, Russian state news agencies reported Thursday, the third arrest of a serving high-ranking military figure in the last month.

A military court ordered Vadim Shamarin, deputy head of Russia's General Staff, remanded in custody on suspicion of large-scale bribe taking -- a charge that carries up to 15 years in prison.

"On May 22, the court selected as a measure of restraint to detain Shamarin for two months," the state-run TASS news agency reported, citing the court.

Critics and opposition figures have for years said Russia's military is riddled with corruption, though its leaders have rarely faced any kind of serious probe or retribution.

The issue burst to the forefront amid failures in the Ukraine offensive, with Wagner paramilitary head Yevgeny Prigozhin accusing Russia's military bosses -- former defence minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov -- of corruption on an almost daily basis.

Prigozhin died in a plane crash just a few months after launching a bloody mutiny in a bid to remove the pair.

The arrest of Shamarin, who was head of the General Staff's communications directorate, is the latest in an apparent crackdown on some of Russia's top military officials.

Putin removed Shoigu earlier this month in a surprise reshuffle, replacing him with economist Andrei Belousov.

A deputy defence minister, Timur Ivanov, and head of the ministry's personnel, Yuri Kuznetsov, have also been arrested for bribe-taking in the last few weeks.

And an ex-commander who was sacked after he criticised Russia's military leaders for a high casualty rate in Ukraine was arrested earlier this week.

The arrests and change of leadership at the defence ministry comes with Russian forces having made their most significant advances on the battlefield in 18 months with a new major assault on Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region.


AFP


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