Russian Defence Ministry’s head of HR detained for bribery – investigators

By Thomson Reuters May 14, 2024 | 2:31 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The head of personnel management at Russia’s Defence Ministry has been arrested on suspicion of bribery, the Investigative Committee, which handles serious crimes, said on Tuesday.

The committee said Yuri Kuznetsov was suspected of “receiving a bribe on an especially large scale”.

At least five people have been arrested in a widening bribery scandal centred on the defence ministry, starting with the detention of deputy minister Timur Ivanov on the same charge on April 23.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was unexpectedly removed from his job on Sunday and assigned to a new role as secretary of Russia’s Security Council.

He is to be replaced by Andrei Belousov, an economist who previously served as deputy prime minister, in a new government which is currently being approved by parliament.

“According to the investigation, in 2021–2023, as the head of the 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Kuznetsov received a bribe from representatives of commercial structures for performing certain actions in their favour,” the Investigative Committee said.

(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan and Felix Light; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ed Osmond)