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Putin Sacks High-Ranking Police Generals Over Golunov Case

Mikhail Metzel / TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed two high-ranking police generals involved in the case against investigative journalist Ivan Golunov.

Major General Yuri Devyatkin, the head of the Interior Ministry’s drug trafficking department, and Major General Andrei Puchkov, head of the Interior Ministry's Moscow department, were dismissed Thursday, according to a Kremlin decree.

Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev had requested that Putin dismiss the two generals after announcing that charges against Golunov had been dropped on Tuesday.

Golunov, an anti-corruption reporter with the Meduza news website, was detained and charged last week for large-scale drug trafficking in a case that drew mass outrage, with his defenders saying he had been targeted for his investigations through fabricated charges. 

On Tuesday, the Interior Ministry dropped the case after a slew of evidence showed that the drugs could not have been Golunov’s. Kolokoltsev said he had suspended the police officers involved pending an investigation, in addition to asking Putin to fire Devyatkin and Puchkov.

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