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Russia Arrests Top General On Corruption Charges: Report

Shamarin served as a deputy to General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s head of the general staff.

Moscow:

In the latest in the sequence of purges in the country’s top offices, the deputy head of the army’s general staff, Lieutenant-General Vadim Shamarin, was arrested on suspicion of large-scale bribe-taking, Al Jazeera reported.

A military court on Wednesday ordered that Shamarin be jailed for two months, Al Jazeera reported, citing TASS news agency. He also served as the head of Russia’s Ministry of Defence’s main communications directorate.

“On May 22, the court chose a preventive measure for Shamarin in the form of detention for a period of two months. He is charged with Part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (receiving a bribe on an especially large scale),” TASS reported, citing the agency’s interlocutor.

The court’s decision has not come into effect and can be appealed to the appellate instance. The maximum punishment that Shamarin faces under the article is 15 years with a fine of one hundred times the amount of the bribe, TASS reported. The corpus delicti states that the amount of the bribe is at least 1 million rubles.

His arrest comes after the detention of other top defence officials as part of an effort to curb corruption associated with giving lucrative military contracts.

Earlier this month, the former top commander in Russia’s military action in Ukraine, Major-General Ivan Popov, and the head of the Defence Ministry’s personnel directorate, Lieutenant-General Yuri Kuznetsov, were arrested on bribery charges.

Earlier in April, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov, a close associate of Russia’s former Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, was also arrested for alleged bribery. Later, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Shoigu as defence minister soon after he assumed office in May, replacing him with economist Andrei Belousov.

Shoigu has been blamed for Russia’s failure to capture Kyiv early in the war between the two nations. He was accused of incompetence and corruption by the chief of the mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash in 2023 after launching a ‘failed mutiny’ against the Russian President.

On August 23, Prigozhin died in an airplane crash in Russia’s Tver region, exactly two months after the ‘failed mutiny’ in Moscow.

Three other people were also detained as part of the crackdown, including a friend of Ivanov, a boss at a construction company who was alleged to have paid bribes, and the former head of several companies subordinate to the Russian Defence Ministry, according to Al Jazeera.

Shamarin served as a deputy to General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s head of the general staff. Though Gerasimov has not been accused of any wrongdoing, he has, at times, faced criticism over the performance of Russia’s military in Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict.

The Kremlin on Thursday rejected claims that authorities were conducting a targeted purge. Speaking to reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the fight against corruption is an ongoing effort, Al Jazeera reported.

“The fight against corruption is an ongoing effort. It is not a campaign. It is an integral part of the activities of law enforcement agencies,” Peskov said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)