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Russian Army General Popov Kept in Pre-Trial Detention on Fraud Charges

Major General Ivan Popov. Sergei Savostyanov / TASS

A Russian military court has rejected a request to transfer Major General Ivan Popov to house arrest and ruled to keep him in pre-trial detention for two months, the independent news website Mediazona reported Monday.

Popov, whose May 17 arrest was first reported last week, is accused of misappropriating more than 130 million rubles ($1.5 million) worth of metal purchased as “humanitarian aid” by Russian occupying authorities in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region.

Investigators last week asked the 235th Garrison Military Court to move him to house arrest, but the request was rejected during a hearing on Monday and the general will be kept in pre-trial detention for at least two months.

Popov previously oversaw the defense of Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia as commander of the 58th Guards Combined Arms Army. 

He was relieved from that post last summer after complaining about systemic mismanagement within the armed forces directly to the military’s top brass.

On Friday, another military court rejected the defense’s appeal of Popov’s arrest at a closed-door hearing

Popov is among five senior Russian military officers to have been arrested on various charges since late April.

Sources close to the Kremlin and Russia’s Defense Ministry told The Moscow Times that the arrests are part of an ongoing Federal Security Service (FSB) purge of high-ranking generals over mishaps during the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, as well as competition for defense funds.

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