Russian Defense Ministry's Personnel Chief Yuri Kuznetsov arrested on bribery charges

The head of the main personnel department of the Russian Defence Ministry, Lieutenant General Yuri Kuznetsov, who was detained the day before, has been arrested on suspicion of taking a particularly large bribe. A criminal case has been opened against Kuznetsov, announced Svetlana Petrenko, the official representative of the Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday, May 14.

While serving as the head of the 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, from 2021 to 2023, the suspect reportedly “received bribes from commercial structure representatives for carrying out certain actions in their interests," she reported, citing findings from the investigation. According to Petrenko, during searches at Kuznetsov's registered and actual places of residence, authorities found cash in rubles and foreign currencies totaling more than 100 million rubles, as well as gold coins, collectors’ watches, and luxury items.

“The court has ruled, upon the investigator's request, to detain Kuznetsov," the representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia further noted. Under Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the general faces up to 15 years in prison.

The arrest of Kuznetsov was first reported on the evening before. The Telegram channel "VChK-OGPU" wrote that he was "apprehended in his own bed" and that the law enforcement officers who came to detain him acted "deliberately harsh," using tools to "break through the gates and windows of the main military recruitment officer’s mansion in the Istra district." TASS reported that the Main Military Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia is handling Kuznetsov's case and that the investigator has requested that the suspect be taken into custody.

55-year-old Lieutenant General Yuri Kuznetsov was, by a decree of Vladimir Putin in May 2023, appointed as the chief human resources officer of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Prior to this, he led the 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which serves as the central body of the Service for the Protection of the State Secret of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The pro-government Telegram channel "Rybar" alleges that the investigative authorities were drawn to Kuznetsov because of activities related to his previous job, not “staffing matters.”

It was revealed on May 12 that in the new Russian government, instead of Sergei Shoygu, Vladimir Putin has proposed appointing the former First Deputy Chairman of the Government, Andrey Belousov, as Defense Minister. Meanwhile, by Putin's decree, Shoygu was appointed to the position of Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

Previously, on April 24, the Basmanny Court in Moscow remanded Timur Ivanov, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister who was detained the day before, into custody until June 23, accused of receiving a particularly large bribe. On the same day, Ivanov was suspended from his post. The day after, the court arrested the real estate, assets, and bank accounts belonging to Ivanov and his relatives.

  Russia, Kuznetsov