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Former Defense Minister Appointed Top Manager of State Corporation

Anatoly Serdyukov

Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov — dismissed in 2012 after a corruption scandal involving a company run by his ministry — was appointed industrial director of the Rostec state corporation this week, Russian media reported Thursday.

Serdyukov will head the aviation cluster of the corporation which has an overall yearly revenue of 350 billion rubles ($5.5 billion), the RBC news agency reported Thursday.

The decision to give a top position at the state-owned company to Serdyukov, earlier investigated for misusing army funds but later amnestied, elicited immediate outrage.

“I don't understand how a person with background like this can be appointed anywhere,” Kirill Kabanov, chair of the National Anti-Corruption Committee told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station Friday.

“After what happened with Vasilyeva I'd say the significance of the real work done to fight corruption has been reduced to zero in people's minds,” Kabanov added.

Former Defense Ministry property manager Yevgenia Vasilyeva, reportedly romantically involved with Serdyukov, was charged in May with fraud, embezzlement and exceeding her authority. The prosecution claimed she was responsible for, among other things, selling real estate belonging to the Defense Ministry and taking 5 percent off each deal.

She captured the public's attention after being placed under house arrest in her luxurious apartment in the center of Moscow with permission to leave the house for several hours each day.

In August she was released on parole after spending a month in a penal colony, eliciting public outrage.

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