Accusation of bribery

Putin continues to restructure the Kremlin: General arrested

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14.05.2024 12:01

The major restructuring of the Russian defense apparatus continues. Following the dismissal of his previous Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the Secretary of State Security, Nikolai Patrushev, Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin has now removed a high-ranking general.

Lieutenant General Yuri Kuznetsov, head of the ministry's cadre administration, is accused of bribery, the state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday. The accusations relate to his previous position as head of the Service for the Protection of State Secrets.

Kuznetsov had received money from a company for favors, it is said. The police searched the official's offices and home. Money amounting to 100 million roubles (around one million euros), including foreign currency, was confiscated, said a spokeswoman for the investigative committee. Gold coins, luxury watches and other jewelry were also found.

President Vladimir Putin changes his defense apparatus after his fifth inauguration. (Bild: APA/AFP/POOL/Mikhail METZEL)
President Vladimir Putin changes his defense apparatus after his fifth inauguration.

Second arrest within a few weeks
It was only at the end of April that Timur Ivanov, a high-ranking general, was targeted by investigators. The deputy defense minister responsible for construction projects was also arrested in connection with a bribery scandal. Ivanov was considered a close confidant of Minister Shoigu. President Vladimir Putin has now replaced Shoigu as defense minister as part of a government reshuffle. However, the 68-year-old was given an honorable departure with his appointment as Secretary of the National Security Council.

Sergei Shoigu is no longer a minister. (Bild: AP)
Sergei Shoigu is no longer a minister.

Patrushev now responsible for shipbuilding
The previous secretary, on the other hand, has been demoted in the eyes of Western commentators. Patrushev is now working as an advisor to Putin. The 72-year-old is to be responsible for shipbuilding, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. This is an important sector for Russia in both military and civilian terms. However, the area of responsibility sounds as if Patrushev would no longer be involved in strategic decisions, wrote dpa. In Putin's circle, the 72-year-old is regarded as the mastermind behind Russia's quest for great power and as one of the ideologues behind the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Further changes in the Kremlin
At the same time, Putin left the head of his presidential administration, Anton Vayno, in office, as well as his first deputies Alexei Gromov and Sergei Kiriyenko. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is also to stay on, according to the state news agency TASS. The former Minister for Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, was appointed as one of the deputies in the presidential office. Putin also brought his former bodyguard Alexei Djumov, most recently governor of the Tula region, back to the Kremlin as an advisor. Observers consider Djumov to be a reserve leader for future high-ranking offices in Russia.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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