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Russian media: Russian deputy defense minister detained for bribery stripped of his position, assets

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 25, 2024 1:37 PM 2 min read
Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov in a Moscow court on April 24, 2024, in relation to suspected bribery charges. (Moscow's Basmanny District Court/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russian Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov, who was detained the previous day on suspicion of receiving a bribe, was ordered to be dismissed from his position and had his assets seized, the state-run media outlet TASS reported on April 25.

Ivanov, Russia's top official in charge of the country's construction of military facilities, was initially detained under part six of Article 290 of Russia's criminal code. According to TASS, the specific provision under the criminal code pertains to bribes over 1 million rubles (~$10,000).

Russia's Investigative Committee noted that an investigation is ongoing and did not provide any details on the allegations.

Law enforcement agencies told TASS that "everything that is registered to (Ivanov) and his wife, as well as to his ex-wives and five children, including adopted ones, (and) all this property has already been seized" for the purpose of interim measures should Ivanov be convicted.

Separately, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed an order to remove Ivanov from his position.

If found guilty, Ivanov could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. The accusations toward Ivanov form what is likely the highest-profile corruption case in Russia since the beginning of the full-scale war against Ukraine.

Various Western countries have sanctioned Ivanov due to his role in Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and he was previously the target of a December 2022 investigation by the Anti-Corruption Foundation, founded by late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The investigation alleged that Ivanov profited from construction projects in occupied Mariupol.

Some independent Russian media suggested that Ivanov was actually suspected of treason, and that the bribery charges were a cover for a more scandalous crime.

"A bribe is for the public. So far, they don’t want to talk publicly about treason," a source in law enforcement told the IStories media outlet.

"No one would have detained him for corruption. Everyone there (in the Kremlin) knew about this for a long time," another source said.

The Kremlin has denied the veracity of such suggestions.

"All these discussions are nothing more than speculation around this case," said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

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