Russian deputy defence minister arrested on suspicion of taking bribes

Mr Ivanov is under sanction from the European Union as the defence ministry’s top official in charge of construction of military facilities.

He was the subject of an investigation published in 2022 by the banned Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was created by the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

It said that the deputy minister oversaw – and profited from – construction projects in Ukraine’s Mariupol, which fell under Moscow’s control after a months-long siege.

According to the probe from the organisation, which has been banned in Russia for alleged “extremism”, the minister divorced his wife to allow her to bypass EU sanctions.

“Today is a good day,” Maria Pevchikh, the head of investigations at the foundation, said on social media.

Like most high-profile opposition figures, Ms Pevchikh was forced into exile by the Kremlin’s repression.

Most of the opposition who remain in Russia are behind bars.

Navalny, who galvanised masses by exposing corruption under Putin, died in prison in February.

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