High-Level Corruption Scandal Rocks Russia's Defense Ministry

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.26 - 2024 12:32 PM CET

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Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
A major bribery scandal is rattling Russia's military, with British intelligence describing it as the biggest in over ten years.

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A major bribery scandal has erupted within Russia's Ministry of Defense, with British intelligence describing it as the biggest in over a decade.

The scandal involves Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov, who was arrested on April 23, accused of accepting "huge" bribes in connection with reconstruction projects in Mariupol, a city in Russian-controlled Ukraine.

Arrest of Deputy Defense Minister

Timur Ivanov's arrest has led to speculation about an ongoing power struggle within the Kremlin and the possible weakening of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's position.

Ivanov's role as deputy defense minister since 2016 has been one of significant influence, having previously served as deputy prime minister in the Moscow regional government during Shoigu's tenure as governor.

British intelligence reported that during his time in office, Ivanov led a lavish lifestyle, owning 22 cars according to his 2018 income tax return. His arrest comes amid allegations of aggravated bribery, with a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years.

The indictment describes Ivanov's alleged involvement in a "criminal conspiracy" related to bribery, though he has denied the charges.

Implications for Russian Defense

The arrest of a high-ranking official like Ivanov has raised questions about the internal dynamics within the Kremlin.

Analysts suggest that this scandal could point to a deeper conflict within the Russian government, possibly indicating shifts in power or growing scrutiny over corruption within the defense sector.

Shoigu's position may be vulnerable, given his connection to Ivanov and the unfolding scandal.

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