Saturday June 22, 2024

Russia purges military leadership as war drags on

This means clamping down on allegations of rampant fraud and personal enrichment

May 24, 2024
A statue seen in this undated photo. — AFP/File
A statue seen in this undated photo. — AFP/File 

WARSAW: Russia has arrested a number of generals and military leaders in recent weeks, seeking to overhaul an army hierarchy seen as corrupt and inefficient in an reinvigorated push for victory in Ukraine.

With the Kremlin now trying to beat Ukraine by outspending it on artillery, missiles, drones and ammunition, Moscow is putting a tighter leash on senior military bosses.

This means clamping down on allegations of rampant fraud and personal enrichment.

State media reported on Thursday that Vadim Shamarin, deputy chief of Russia´s general staff, had been arrested on large-scale bribe taking. He is the third senior military figure to be arrested on corruption charges in the past month.

“It´s a real fight against corruption,” said Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Moscow-based Institute for Political and Military Analysis.

“In wartime, money must be spent correctly.”

The arrests are part of the most serious reshuffle in Russia´s military leadership since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Putin this month removed his long-time ally Sergei Shoigu as defence minister, replacing him with economist Andrei Belousov.

A deputy defence minister Timur Ivanov, and the ministry´s head of personnel, Yury Kuznetsov, have also been arrested on bribery charges in the last month.

Dealing with lucrative and classified procurement contracts, Russia´s military has a reputation as a hotbed of corruption.