Another Top Russian General Arrested On Bribery Charges

According to Russian state media, Russian authorities arrested Lieutenant-General Vadim Shamarin, deputy to General Valery Gerasimov, head of the army’s general staff, on suspicion of large-scale bribe-taking.

Another Top Russian General Arrested On Bribery Charges 1

Is President Vladimir Putin continuing what appears to be a purge of his senior defense staff members?

The Kremlin escalated its crackdown on Russia’s top military ranks, with a new corruption arrest this week.

Russian authorities detained Lieutenant-General Vadim Shamarin, deputy to General Valery Gerasimov, head of the army’s general staff, on suspicion of large-scale bribe-taking, Russian state media reported Thursday. 

It is the fourth arrest in the past month of a high-ranking military official, marking the biggest Russian army scandal in years. The detentions come as President Vladimir Putin carries out a sweeping reshuffle of top jobs, including a change at the head of the Ministry of Defense.

Another Top Russian General Arrested On Bribery Charges 2
Lieutenant-General Vadim Shamarin, deputy head of the army’s general staff. Handout/Reuters

The arrest closely follows the largest change in military leadership since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine: on May 12, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was removed (or rather, he was moved to the head of the National Security Council) and Andrei Belousov was installed.

“On May 22, the court chose a preventive measure for Shamarin in the form of detention for two months,” a court official was cited in AFP as confirming. Additionally, a senior defense ministry procurement official identified as Vladimir Verteletsky was also reportedly detained.

Shamarin is accused by the court of taking bribes “at an especially large scale” while supervising the awarding of public contracts.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, announced later on Thursday that the general is accused of accepting 36 million rubles ($397,000) from the executives of a phone manufacturing plant for “general patronage” and ensuring higher product supplies through Defense Ministry contracts.

He is being held pending trial. Regarding recent removals that are primarily related to criminal matters, the sequence of arrests is summarized as follows:

  • Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was detained in late April
  • Lieutenant-General Yuri Kuznetsov, head of personnel at the defense ministry
  • Major-General Ivan Popov, a former top commander for Russia’s offensive in Ukraine

Despite evidence to the contrary, the Kremlin continues to insist that there is not a “purge” but rather a concerted effort to eradicate corruption.

Following Gerasimov’s deputy’s arrest, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA, “The fight against corruption is a continuous effort.” This is not a campaign. It is an integral part, in fact, of the activities of our law enforcement agencies.”

Another Top Russian General Arrested On Bribery Charges 3

Thus, the justification for this spate of arrests is an open-ended, straightforward application of the law, but few Western observers of Russia find this very credible. For example, the BBC’s Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg has observed: “When one top defense official in Russia is arrested, that’s interesting. When four senior defense figures are arrested in less than a month, that’s more than a pattern…begins to look like a purge.”

Regarding General Gerasimov, the head of the army, this certainly brings him under more scrutiny (since his ranking has dropped), but he is not being held accountable for any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Kremlin officials have recently been more critical of the way the “special military operation” is being carried out in Ukraine.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that Ukrainian intelligence revealed Maxim Kuzminov, a Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine, was shot dead in Spain.

GreatGameIndia is being actively targeted by powerful forces who do not wish us to survive. Your contribution, however small help us keep afloat. We accept voluntary payment for the content available for free on this website via UPI, PayPal and Bitcoin.

Support GreatGameIndia

Leave a Reply