Home » today » World » Shoigu’s deputy Timur Ivanov was arrested. What is known about him and his case?

Shoigu’s deputy Timur Ivanov was arrested. What is known about him and his case?

Photo copyright, Moscow Courts of General Jurisdiction/TASS

Photo caption: The Deputy Minister of Defense was brought to court in military uniform

April 24, 2024

The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested for two months Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov, who was detained the night before, April 23, on suspicion of taking a bribe. Ivanov worked for many years as Sergei Shoigu’s deputy and was the hero of anti-corruption investigations of Alexei Navalny’s associates.

The investigation believes that Ivanov entered into a criminal conspiracy with third parties to receive bribes during contract and subcontract work for the needs of the Ministry of Defense.

The case against Ivanov was initiated under Part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – on receiving a bribe on an especially large scale, that is, from 1 million rubles. The maximum penalty under this article is 15 years in prison.

It is still unknown what amount is being discussed in Ivanov’s case.

“The amount appears, but I would not like to name it now, because it is very relative and will be adjusted. But a textbook bribe, as we imagine it in everyday life in the form of transferring money for some obviously illegal action or inaction, is not charged here; the composition here is much more complex,” Ivanov’s lawyer Denis Baluev told Interfax.

Another of Ivanov’s defenders, Murad Musaev, told the agency that his client is charged with helping companies that carried out repair and construction work for him free of charge.

“According to the indictment, Ivanov provided assistance to certain companies – contractors of the Ministry of Defense, which in return carried out construction and repair work free of charge at facilities allegedly belonging to Ivanov,” he said.

According to the deputy minister’s defenders, he denies his guilt in receiving a bribe.

Along with Ivanov, his acquaintance Sergei Borodin, whom called a long-term manager of the deputy minister’s affairs and one of the nominal owners of his property.

According to RBC, security forces are also conducting dozens of searches related to Ivanov’s case, including in the Krasnodar and Stavropol territories.

According to RBC’s interlocutor, Ivanov was detained on Tuesday at 17:00 in his office. On the same day, a collegium was held at the Ministry of Defense, at which were present and Shoigu and Ivanov.

As the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said last Tuesday, Vladimir Putin was informed about Ivanov’s detention. “Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was also informed in advance,” Peskov told reporters.

Shoigu himself has not yet commented on the detention of his deputy.

Real estate and wives

Timur Ivanov has held the post of Deputy Minister of Defense since 2016 and is considered an ally of Sergei Shoigu.

According to a source of “Vestka” (the publication is included in the register of “foreign agents”), close to the security forces, it was Shoigu who brought Ivanov to the ministry’s structures in 2013. Before that, they worked together in the government of the Moscow region.

Ivanov is responsible for the procurement of military products and oversees the construction, reconstruction and overhaul of Ministry of Defense facilities, including in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

The deputy minister was in charge of the largest construction projects – the restoration of Mariupol, the construction of the main temple of the Russian Armed Forces, the Vostochny cosmodrome, and medical centers of the Ministry of Defense for the treatment of patients with Covid-19.

In November 2022, associates of Alexei Navalny published an investigation in which they spoke about the property and finances of the deputy minister and his ex-wife Svetlana.

The investigation alleged that Timur Ivanov and his family spent summer holidays on the Cote d’Azur in France and threw expensive parties. Since 2022, Timur Ivanov has been under US and EU sanctions, but his wife managed to avoid sanctions and continued to travel to Europe after the start of the war, Navalny’s associates wrote.

Another investigation, released six months later, stated that Ivanov had a new wife – former adviser to the head of the Russian Ministry of Defense Maria Kitaeva. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she also traveled to Europe because she was not under sanctions.

The publication “Important Stories” (included by the Russian authorities in the register of “foreign agents” and also declared an undesirable organization), citing “sources close to the FSB,” writes that in addition to corruption, Ivanov is also suspected of treason.

“A bribe is for the public. So far they don’t want to talk publicly about treason – it’s a big scandal: after all, the Deputy Minister of Defense,” said one of the publication’s interlocutors.

Ivanov’s defenders deny this. “There are no other charges besides the announced charge of bribery,” lawyer Murad Musaev told RIA Novosti.

“Element of the game against Shoigu”

Political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov saw in the case of Shoigu’s deputy “an emphasized desire to make a picture” with an emphasis on the arrest of “a military man, not a corrupt official.”

He reminded media reports about five years of “development” by the deputy minister and asks the question: “Why did it need to suddenly end such a long operation – there was still so much that could have been investigated?”

At the same time, political scientist Tatyana Stanovaya draws attention to the fact that they “didn’t make a mask show out of Ivanov’s detention” – “they didn’t publicly smash a person close to Shoigu.”

“But, of course, there is an element of playing against Shoigu here,” she believes.

“In the last six months or a year, Shoigu has regained his position in Putin’s eyes and has become noticeably closer to him, quite successfully managing the flow of information that the president receives about military affairs,” writes Stanovaya in her telegram channel.

On May 7, Putin will be inaugurated for his fifth presidential term. After this, a new government must be formed in Russia.

Bloomberg, citing “sources familiar with the situation” writesthat the arrest of one of Shoigu’s closest associates weakens the position of the head of the Ministry of Defense in anticipation of possible personnel changes in the government.

As one of the agency’s interlocutors noted, Ivanov’s arrest is the last warning to Shoigu about the need to improve the ministry’s work during the war, although his removal is not expected yet.

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive the day’s top stories every evening, Monday through Friday, plus context to help you make sense of what’s happening.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.