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First Official Sacked for Concealing Income

President Dmitry Medvedev has fired a Defense Ministry bureaucrat for providing false information about his earnings, marking the first time that someone has been dismissed in connection with a Kremlin order requiring state officials to release income declarations.

But a Defense Ministry source called the ouster a “show flogging” and said the man was likely to be hired back soon, Gazeta.ru reported Wednesday.

Major General Viktor Gaidukov's dismissal was announced on the Kremlin's web site late Tuesday. The Kremlin statement gave no details about the officer's wrongdoing, and both the Kremlin and the Defense Ministry refused to provide official comments.

But Gazeta.ru's ministry source said Gaidukov failed to mention several banking accounts he owned. He did not specify how much money was deposited in the accounts.

Gaidukov worked in the ministry's directorate responsible for nuclear safety in the military, a source in the Siberian Federal District administration told Interfax.

Gaidukov declared an income of 1.1 million rubles ($36,000) for 2009 and said he owned no cars or real estate, Vedomosti reported Wednesday, citing the ministry.

Gaidukov's wife said she earned 220,000 rubles ($7,200) in 2009 and owned an 86-square-meter apartment, a 1,102-square-meter land plot and a Honda sedan.

Gaidukov's declaration was examined on the order of Medvedev's anti-corruption council, the Kremlin said on its web site.

It was the first time that the body has exercised its powers, which it received last September under a presidential decree that allows it to order a check into an official's income declaration at the request of another official.

"The council recommended that the Defense Minister pay attention to the case and take action," senior council member and lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said by telephone Wednesday.

Kucherena refused to say what was wrong with Gaidukov's declaration, calling it private information.

Kucherena said many officials have been fired by their bosses recently for violations in their income declarations but not on the council's recommendation. He gave no examples.

Last Thursday, the liberal Yabloko party asked the Kremlin and the government to examine declarations of State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov and two State Duma deputies, Ashot Yegiazaryan of United Russia and Sergei Levchenko of the Communist Party. No inquiries have been announced.

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