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Eugene Prigozhin finally takes revenge from beyond the grave

Less than 24 hours after Vladimir Putin fired his defense minister after privately accusing him of failures in the war against Ukraine, another senior Defense Ministry official was dragged out of bed by forces hidden security guards.

Counterintelligence agents reportedly arrived armed to the teeth to arrest Lieutenant General Yury Kuznetsov, head of the Defense Ministry’s personnel department, on Monday for corruption. The Investigative Committee announced in a press release on Tuesday that Kuznetsov is currently in pre-trial detention on charges of large-scale corruption.

The charges against him remain mostly unclear. Investigators claim that from 2021 to 2023, while serving as head of the 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Kuznetsov accepted a bribe from commercial companies in exchange for “the accomplishment of certain actions in their favor”.

His arrest comes just weeks after Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was accused of corruption, which was widely seen as a blow to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Shoigu was replaced by Putin on Sunday in a surprise decision that sees him replaced by civil economist Andrei Belousov. The Kremlin explained the move by saying the country’s Defense Ministry must be “absolutely open to innovation” and Belousov fits that standard.

The Kremlin insisted that Shoigu’s new post as head of the Security Council should not be seen as a resignation, but Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that Putin had lost confidence in the ability of Shoigu to manage the war in a context of corruption within the country. the Ministry of Defense. Last year’s dramatic mutiny by Wagner boss Eugene Prigozhin was cited in the report as another likely reason for Shoigu’s dismissal.

Following Kuznetsov’s arrest, Kremlin media presented it as part of an “anti-corruption purge” within the Defense Ministry, with Belousov now tasked with cleaning up Shoigu’s mess. “A lot of money came to the Ministry of Defense, the budget doubled because of (the war). And as we saw with the arrest of Timur Ivanov, the corruption situation goes beyond reasonable limits,” former Putin adviser Sergei Markov said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda.

In one fell swoop, it seems that Shoigu’s legacy has been cemented as one of wartime corruption and incompetence, while at the same time anyone who is tired of the war against Ukraine that drags on into its third year can blame rampant corruption in the military instead of blaming widespread corruption in the military. Kremlin.

Not surprisingly, pro-war bloggers linked to Prigozhin celebrated the news of Kuznetsov’s arrest on Tuesday. Prigozhin had called for the departure of Shoigu and all his relatives during his brief uprising against the army last June, just a month before his death in a violent plane crash widely considered an assassination.

“Right into the fire,” a Telegram channel linked to Wagner wrote about the “sordid” Kuznetsov and Ivanov.

News Source : www.thedailybeast.com
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