Russian Deputy Defense Minister Arrested for Bribery

At approximately 0230 EST, Russian state-owned media reported that Deputy Defense Minister Ivanov was arrested on charges of bribery. However, these bribery charges have reportedly been packaged around an act of treason. The Basmanny Court of Moscow made this announcement:

“By a court decision against the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Ivanov Timur Viktorovich, a measure of restraint was chosen in the form of detention for a period of 2 months, until June 23, 2024.”

The Arrest

The primary charge has been listed as “taking a bribe on an especially large scale” (Part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code; from eight to 15 years in prison). Sergei Borodin was also arrested for “curating the “illegal actions” of the Deputy Defense Minister under the same charges. It is important to note that Borodin has a controlling majority in Ivanov’s wife’s business and owns his dacha in Tver.

Russian law enforcement agencies were reported to be conducting searches at Deputy Minister Ivanov’s residence on Chisyy Lane in Moscow.

IStories reported that FSB sources claim evidence has been mounting on Ivanov’s corruption since 2017 during his employment with Oboronstroy JSC. However, President Putin did not green light his arrest until allegations of financial corruption were packaged as indicators of treason by the Russian security services. These charges reportedly center around Ivanov owning or facilitating construction contracts in occupied Mariupol while also directing Defense Ministry operations in the city. His large stockpile of expensive cars, properties, and assets in NATO countries is also being called into question. Defense Minister Shoigu was reported to have been protecting Ivanov, an allegation that is also being floated by several Russian military bloggers this morning.

Ivanov’s lawyer has told press that his client will not be charged with treason nor is he being accused of such.

Timur Vadimovich Ivanov is a Russian politician currently serving as Deputy Defense Minister of Russia since 2016. He previously served as the Deputy Governor of the Moscow Oblast from 2012 to 2016. He has the federal state civilian service rank of 1st class Active State Councilor of the Russian Federation.

Bribery Charges As A Political Tool

It is important to note that arrests like these do not happen without permission from the President’s office and arrests on charges of bribery (which is accepted in Russia) are often used to cut down officials that have fallen out of favor with Putin. Since the establishment of a large Russian national government, there have been three types of bribes: pochest (offerings before a particular deal), pominki (offerings after a deal is done) and posul (the promise of a bribe for a court’s decision in one’s favor), with the second being the most widely socially accepted form of bribery. President Putin was intimately familiar with this form of bribery while working in St. Petersburg under Mayor Sobchak.

What makes this arrest unique is that Ivanov is a close associate of Defense Minister Shoigu, possibly indicating that a rift is growing between the President and Shoigu as the war in Ukraine rages into its second year. This could either be a shot across the bow from the President to Shoigu or an indicator that the defense minister will be relieved as well.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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