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14 May, 2024 07:49

High-ranking Russian Defense Ministry official arrested

Yury Kuznetsov is suspected of taking a bribe on “a particularly large scale,” the Investigative Committee has said
High-ranking Russian Defense Ministry official arrested

The head of the Main Personnel Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Yury Kuznetsov, has been arrested, the Investigative Committee has said.

A criminal case has been launched against Kuznetsov, who is “suspected of taking a bribe on a particularly large scale,” Russian Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to investigators, the lieutenant general “received a bribe from representatives of commercial structures for performing certain actions in their favor” from 2021 to 2023, when he was working as the head of the 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, she stated.

During searches of Kuznetsov’s properties, more than 100 million rubles (around $1.1 million) in Russian and foreign currencies, gold coins, collectible watches, and other luxury items were discovered and seized, Petrenko said.

The judge accepted the request of investigators for the suspect to be placed in custody, the spokeswoman added.

Kuznetsov became the head of the Main Personnel Directorate in May 2023, according to the Defense Ministry’s website. He was in charge of the 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, which deals with state secrets, from 2010 to 2023.

Last month, Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was arrested on accusations of taking bribes on a large scale. The offense carries a penalty of up to 15 years behind bars.

Ivanov’s lawyer, Murad Musaev, told the media that his client is suspected of receiving services from military construction contractors estimated at over 1.1 billion rubles (around $12.2 million). Musaev insisted that the accusations are groundless.