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Putin’s deputy defense minister arrested for ‘high treason’: reports – Putin’s deputy defense minister arrested for ‘high treason’: reports

Russia’s well-connected deputy defense minister Timur Ivanov faces accusations of treason it has been reported, following his arrest in the highest-profile corruption scandal in Russia for years.

Ivanov, 48, an official responsible for military infrastructure projects, appeared in his uniform behind a glass cage in Moscow’s Basmanny Court on Wednesday charged with bribe-taking “on a particularly large scale,” the court’s press service said. He could face 15 years in prison.

His arrest has sparked speculation about whether it might signal a purge among the Moscow elite, especially given his close relationship with defense minister Sergei Shoigu, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The independent Russian news outlet Real Stories said that the true reason for Ivanov’s arrest was “high treason,” citing two sources close to the FSB.

Timur Ivanov

This handout from Moscow’s Basmanny District Court from April 24, 2024, shows Russian deputy defense minister Timur Ivanov. He was detained on suspicion of bribery. This handout from Moscow’s Basmanny District Court from April 24, 2024, shows Russian deputy defense minister Timur Ivanov. He was detained on suspicion of bribery. Getty Images

“A bribe is for the public. So far, they don’t want to talk publicly about treason—it’s a big scandal,” one source told the outlet. A second source said that Putin “gave the command after being convinced it was about treason,” adding that “no one would detain Ivanov for corruption.”

However, Ivanov’s lawyer, Murad Musayev, told state news agency RIA Novosti, that his client was not being accused of treason.

“There are no other accusations, except for the announced accusation of bribery,” he said.

Newsweek has contacted the court for comment.

Independent Russian media outlets have alleged that Ivanov and his family had acquired vast wealth through kickbacks on contracts he agreed at the ministry.

In December 2022, the anti-corruption organization, FBK, founded by the late Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who died in custody in February, alleged that Ivanov and his family lived an opulent life abroad that included luxury cars, jewelry and expensive real estate.

Navalny’s team also said that Ivanov had profited from construction projects in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which fell under Moscow’s control after a monthslong siege.

Deputy defense minister since 2016, Ivanov’s projects also included building military barracks, cadet corps, submarine bases and military airfields, as well as hospitals and kindergartens, it was reported.

“Timur Ivanov is a high-profile figure in Russia, and he’s been involved in many large projects, including several rebuilding efforts in Mariupol,” Pekka Kallioniemi, a postdoctoral researcher at Finland’s Tampere University, told Newsweek.

“It’s of course impossible to know the real reasons for his arrest but this could be related to the revelations made by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation that showed Ivanov and his wife in a pretty bad light,” Kallioniemi said.

FBK alleged leaked emails from Ivanov’s wife, Svetlana Maniovich, showed the extent of her family’s lavish lifestyle, beyond what his official salary could cover, with some transactions routed through third parties, including Defense Ministry contractors.

“As the couple is also close friends with Dmitry Peskov, this is one of the highest profile arrests after Russia launched their full-scale invasion against Ukraine in February of 2022,” said Kallioniemi, whose series on social media, Vatnik Soup, exposed Russian propaganda.

When asked about the arrest, which took place only hours after Ivanov had met with Shoigu and other defense ministry officials, Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that there were “many different interpretations” of the case, state news agency Tass reported.

“All this speculation is nothing but speculation,” he said. “It is necessary to be guided by information from the investigative authorities. And, of course, in the end, the court’s decision.”

Ivanov has been remanded to Moscow’s Lefortovo pre-trial detention center until June 23.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Russian Deputy Defence Timur Ivanov gives explanations during armed forces cathedral's construction near Moscow
File Photo: Russian Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov gives explanations to President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, (not seen in the picture) who inspect a model of the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces in the course of its construction near… Purchase Licensing Rights, opens new tab Read more

April 23 (Reuters) – A Russian deputy defence minister in charge of military construction has been detained on Tuesday on suspicion of “large-scale” bribe-taking, in one of the highest-profile corruption cases since Moscow launched its war in Ukraine.

A brief statement by the Investigative Committee, Russia’s top investigative body, said late on Tuesday that Timur Ivanov had been taken into custody and an investigation into his case was proceeding.

The statute that the investigators cited for the detention of Ivanov, who has been in his job for eight years, is for accepting bribes “on a particularly large scale”.

In 2022, Russia’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, headed by the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, alleged that Ivanov and his family led a lavish lifestyle filled with spending on real estate, luxurious trips and designer clothing.

Russian media reported that Ivanov was in charge, among other things, of large construction projects rebuilding the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was heavily bombarded and taken by Russia as part of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Russian news agencies, said a report on Ivanov’s detention had been presented to President Vladimir Putin. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had been informed in advance of his detention, he said.

The daily Izvestia reported on Wednesday, citing sources, that searches were conducted late on Tuesday at some of Ivanov’s properties.

Russian news reports said that Ivanov, if convicted, could face up to 15 years in prison.

Forbes magazine listed Ivanov, an expert in cybernetics and the nuclear industry, as one of the wealthiest men in Russia’s security structures.

News outlet RBK posted a picture of him attending a meeting of ministerial officials earlier on Tuesday chaired by Shoigu.

Russian news reports said Ivanov was likely the most senior Russian official to face such charges since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

He worked in companies dealing with fuel and energy and in the Moscow regional government before joining the defence ministry in 2010. He became a deputy minister in 2016.

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Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Ron Popeski and Lidia Kelly; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Gerry Doyle

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File Photo: Russian Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov gives explanations to President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, (not seen in the picture) who inspect a model of the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces in the course of its construction near… Purchase Licensing…
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