Deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff arrested for ‘large-scale bribery’ as post-Shoigu purge continues — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff arrested for ‘large-scale bribery’ as post-Shoigu purge continues

The deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and head of its Main Directorate of Communications Vadim Shamarin has been detained on charges of “large-scale bribery”, Russian business news outlet RBC reported on Thursday morning.

Russian business daily Kommersant first reported Shamarin’s detention, citing a source in the country’s law enforcement agencies who said that his home had been searched on Wednesday, after which he had been detained for questioning by the Russian Investigative Committee’s Main Military Investigative Department on potential fraud charges.

Citing a military court, RBC later reported that Shamarin had been arrested on Wednesday and would be remanded in custody for two months.

On Thursday afternoon a spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee said Shamarin had received bribes over the past eight years worth 36 million rubles (€365,000) from a telephone factory in the city of Perm in the Russian Urals to ensure that state orders would increase, among other unspecified favours.

Shamarin is the latest member of Russia’s military elite to be targeted in purges that began with the arrest on bribery charges of Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov in April. Several weeks later, two other high-ranking officials, Lieutenant General Yury Kuznetsov and Major General Ivan Popov, were also arrested on the same charges.

All four men face up to 15 years behind bars if found guilty.

Shamarin is not the first deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff to be arrested on corruption charges. His predecessor Khalil Arslanov was also arrested on charges of accepting multimillion-euro bribes in 2020, Kommersant noted.

The pro-war Telegram channel Rybar said that Shamarin had a reputation for “window dressing, falsifying reports about how good everything is, and making unfounded organisational decisions that harmed the organisation of communication within the troops”, adding that his detention was part of an “audit” rather than a “witch hunt” in Russia’s Defence Ministry.

Political commentator Farida Rustamova described Shamarin as the “highest-ranking detainee” in Russia’s military leadership since Ivanov and recalled a meeting between military officials earlier in May in which Vladimir Putin had said that the General Staff was “operating successfully”, with “no changes envisaged”.

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