MOSCOW, Aug. 14 (UPI) — A military court in Moscow sentenced the former top commander of Russia’s land forces, General Vladimir Chirkin, to five years in jail for bribe taking.
Chrikin was found guilty of receiving a 450,000 ruble bribe in 2008 to arrange an apartment for a retired military officer, Interfax and TASS reported. Chirkin had served as commander in chief for the Russian Army’s Ground Forces.
Chirkin is one of the most senior Russian military officers to have been convicted for corruption. Chirkin had been a commander in Russia’s wars in Chechnya, and directed the Victory Day parade on the Red Square in 2013.
President Vladimir Putin fired Churkin in December 2013 after the Investigative Committee charged the lieutenant general, The Moscow Times reported.
The inquiry against Chirkin began when Russian investigators had appealed to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to suspend the commander, underscoring that he tried to his use his senior position to manipulate witnesses and obstruct all investigations, according to news reports.
Investigators then opened scores of inquiries into supposed embezzlement and abuse of power within the Russia’s defense ministry.