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Russia arrests a top general on corruption charges: agencies

Russia launches ground offensive Kharkiv
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Russia arrested a senior general over corruption allegations, Russian state news agencies reported Thursday, the third arrest of a serving high-ranking military figure in the last month.

The Kremlin denied it was carrying out a purge of top army officials, as some of Russia’s influential military bloggers welcomed the arrest of a figure they hold responsible for battlefield failures in the two-year offensive on Ukraine.

A military court ordered Vadim Shamarin, deputy head of Russia’s General Staff, remanded in custody on suspicion of large-scale bribe taking — a charge that carries up to 15 years in prison, state media reported.

“On May 22, the court selected as a measure of restraint to detain Shamarin for two months,” the state-run TASS news agency reported, citing the court.

Critics and opposition figures have for years said Russia’s military is riddled with corruption, though its leaders have rarely faced any kind of serious probe or retribution.

The issue burst to the forefront amid failures in the Ukraine offensive, with Wagner paramilitary head Yevgeny Prigozhin accusing Russia’s military bosses — former defence minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov — of corruption on an almost daily basis, saying it hobbled Russia’s combat capacity.

Prigozhin died in a plane crash just a few months after launching a bloody mutiny in a bid to remove the pair.

The arrest of Shamarin, who was head of the General Staff’s communications directorate, is the latest in an apparent crackdown on some of Russia’s top military officials.

But the Kremlin denied it was mounting a purge.

“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,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

Putin removed Shoigu earlier this month in a surprise reshuffle, replacing him with economist Andrei Belousov.

A deputy defence minister, Timur Ivanov, and head of the ministry’s personnel, Yuri Kuznetsov, have also been arrested for bribe-taking in the last few weeks.

And an ex-commander who was sacked after he criticised Russia’s military leaders for a high casualty rate in Ukraine was arrested earlier this week.

Some Russian military bloggers welcomed the arrest of Shamarin, saying it was communications failures — caused by a lack of equipment due to corruption — that were behind Russia’s military failures in Ukraine.

“Bribery in the military and security services is state treason,” said military blogger Anastasia Kashevarova in a post on Telegram.

Amid the reshuffle and arrests in Moscow, Russian forces in Ukraine have made their most significant advances on the battlefield in 18 months with a new major assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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