June 20, 2024

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Russian general arrested for ‘fraud’ after being fired for criticizing actions in Ukraine

Russian general arrested for ‘fraud’ after being fired for criticizing actions in Ukraine

Russian General Ivan Popov, the former commander of the 58th Army fighting in Ukraine, was dismissed last summer and arrested for “fraud” after he was warned of difficulties on the front, Russian press agencies said on Tuesday.

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The officer was detained on May 17 on suspicion of “large-scale fraud,” a Moscow military court told state agency TASS, noting that he will be held in pre-trial detention for at least two months.

According to the relevant article of the Penal Code, he faces up to ten years in prison.

Since late April, at least two senior Russian military officers, Timur Ivanov and Yuri Kuznetsov, have been arrested on corruption charges and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has been replaced by economist Andrey Belusov.

According to Vladimir Putin, the latter task is to “optimize” the spending of the Russian Armed Forces and Defense Ministry, which is operating at full capacity.

In July 2023, a few days after the aborted rebellion of the Wagner sub-military group, Ivan Popov announced in an audio message that he had been suspended from his duties as head of the 58th Army.

The latter is considered more combat-capable, and at the time of its decommissioning, was stationed in the Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia (south), where it was subject to a counterattack from Kiev.

Ivan Popov said he was fired for “sternly” warning higher command officials about difficulties in Ukraine, particularly high human casualties and lack of advanced equipment.

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“Ukrainian forces could not break our army from the front, and we were attacked by our main leader, who cowardly decapitated the army at the most difficult moment,” he said, thus targeting the Commander-in-Chief. Valery Gerasimov.

According to Gray Zone, a Telegram channel said to be close to the Wagner Group, which has more than 500,000 subscribers, Valery Kurasimov accused Ivan Popov of “disinformation” and “alarmism” upon learning of his report.