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Russian commander linked to Bucha killings detained on corruption charges

by Dmytro Basmat July 5, 2024 1:06 AM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes: Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, 21, stands inside a cage after he was sentenced to life in prison by a Ukrainian court for killing an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia's Feb. 24 invasion, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 23, 2022 (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Russian authorities have detained Colonel Artyom Gorodilov, the top military commander whose troops were responsible for the massacre in Bucha, on charges of large-scale fraud, Russian state media outlet TASS reported on July 4.

At the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, Gorodilov led the 234th Guards Air Assault Regiment which was found through a New York Times investigation to be responsible for the death and executions of civilians in Bucha, a suburb outside of Kyiv.

Gorodilov, who was arrested on July 3, was charged by a Russian military court with committing fraud amounting to at least one million rubles ($11,236). Gorodilov commanded the paratroop 83rd Guards Air Assault Brigade in Russia's far-east at the time of his arrest.

Several high-level Russian officials have been arrested in recent months on corruption-related charges. In what was likely the highest-profile corruption case in Russia since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was arrested in April on charges of bribery.

Recent crackdowns on top military leadership coincided with Russian President Vladimir Putin's removal of then Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, following which a number of commanders were charged with various crimes.

No information was provided on the details of Gorodilov's charges, as the hearing was held in the military court, TASS reported.

If convicted Gorodilov faces up to 10 years in prison. He has denied the charges laid against him.

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