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Former military commander of Chechnya charged with bribery

29 May 2017

Two generals and one captain of the Russian Interior Ministry’s North Caucasus Regional Command have been charged with taking bribes. One of the men is Leonid Krivonos, former Deputy Commander of the Internal Troops in the North Caucasus, and overall commander in Chechnya.

The Russian Investigative Committee found that the men were taking advantage of their official position, taking bribes from subordinates in exchange for prolonging their contracts and issuing promotions.

According to investigators, Krivonos, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Andrei Golovatsky, and staff captain Vadim Zuyev, accepted large bribes as part of a criminal conspiracy.

The case involves four episodes from 2014, in which the officers accepted a total of 1.5 million ($27,000) in bribes. The money was transferred to their personal bank accounts.

The investigation concluded that the crimes were particularly serious and damaging to the state.

Krivonos has claimed that the evidence against him has been fabricated, in revenge for his refusing to pay bribes to certain FSB officers.

All three of the men implicated in the investigation, which was initiated in 2015, were arrested last year. The court ordered that Krivonos be held in pretrial detention, while the others were under house arrest.

All three are decorated veterans of numerous military operations. Krivonos was wounded during an assassination attempt on former President of Chechnya Akhmat Kadyrov at a Grozny stadium in 2004. A few years later he was appointed to the post of military commandant of Chechnya.