Russian General Arrested On Suspicion of Fraud

( – Russia’s Armed Forces Commander, General Ivan Popov, was arrested by Russian authorities on May 21 after criticizing the country’s military and the way it has been treating soldiers deployed to fight in Ukraine. Independent Russian journalists said on their Telegram channels that Popov, who was the head of the 58th Army, was arrested at his house in Moscow on “suspicion of fraud.”

Popop was officially dismissed from his command of Russia’s troops in the Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia in July 2023. The region was annexed during the invasion after numerous battles that the Russian armed forces won against the Ukrainian military.

The suspected reason behind his removal was his criticism of then-Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, whom he claimed was acting irresponsibly by failing to deliver the proper military equipment to the Russian soldiers in the region. Independent Russian journalists said that Shoigu personally asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to remove Popov, as he claimed that his criticism could “destabilize the harmony” in the Russian military.

The former commander general condemned the “mass deaths” that the Russian military was suffering on the battlefield, claiming that the situation was the result of poor “counter-battery combat” and a lack of resources. In a video published on Twitter by Russian Congressman Andrey Gurulyov, Popop can be seen addressing his troops and saying that the military was dealing with numerous issues that could affect their performance in war. He could also be heard saying that these problems were starting at the “top of the chain,” suggesting that Shoigu was the man responsible.

Following Popov’s arrest, Lt. Gen. Vadim Shamarin, the deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, was also detained on suspicion of fraud. Shamarin’s arrest marks the fourth high-ranking military official in Russia to be taken into custody since April.

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