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Russian Army General Arrested on Fraud Charges – Reports

Major General Ivan Popov. Russian Defense Ministry

A Russian army general who previously oversaw the defense of occupied Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region has been arrested on fraud charges, the state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday, citing an anonymous source.

“The ex-commander of the 58th Guards Combined Arms Army, Ivan Ivanovich Popov, was arrested on suspicion of fraud,” an unnamed law enforcement official was quoted as saying by TASS. 

The source added that the 235th Garrison Military Court was taking up the case against Popov, who holds the rank of major general.

There was no immediate comment from the Russian Defense Ministry or law enforcement agencies about the reported arrest.

In July 2023, Popov said he was relieved of his role as commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army after complaining about systemic mismanagement within the military directly to former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In an audio file shared at the time by State Duma lawmaker and former military commander Andrei Gurulyov, Popov could be heard railing against his superiors for “treacherously decapitating” the military after his dismissal.

That speech marked the first publicly known instance of a regular army officer voicing disaffection after the Wagner mercenary group’s failed revolt the month before.

Popov’s reported arrest also comes after the recent arrests of Lieutenant-General Yury Kuznetsov and Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov, an ally of Shoigu, on bribery charges, suggesting that the authorities are undertaking a wider crackdown within Russia’s military.

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