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“Shoigu had him guarded by Special Operations fighters”: The Insider reveals details of Russian Deputy Defense Minister's recent arrest


Russia’s former Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov knew about his impending arrest in advance and was preparing to resist, a source in the FSB familiar with the situation told The Insider.

According to the source, ex-Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had his deputy guarded by armed members of Russia’s Special Operations Forces to prevent the FSB from carrying out a surprise arrest. For several months, the FSB's Military Counterintelligence Department had been unable to get close to Ivanov, and so the special service had to improvise.

On April 23, Ivanov went to the 3rd Vishnevsky Central Clinical Hospital for a routine checkup. His guards, as usual, waited for the deputy minister on the ground floor. When Ivanov went to the doctor's office alone, FSB officers were already waiting for him. After the deputy minister's arrest, officers took him out through the back door so that his guards would have no knowledge of Ivanov’s arrest. The fact that the arrest took place in this way was confirmed to The Insider by a second source close to the investigation.

On April 24, Moscow's Basmanny District Court ordered Ivanov's detention to remain in force for two months. According to the case materials, Ivanov is accused of accepting various bribes totaling more than 1.185 billion rubles ($13.08 million at the current exchange rate).

According to investigators, from 2018 to 2023, co-founder of the “Olimpsitistroy” construction company Alexander Fomin and several other unidentified persons built and restored an estate in the Tver Region on the banks of the Volga River, as well as an estate in Chisty Pereulok in Moscow, on behalf of the former deputy minister. In exchange, Ivanov handed Fomin's company lucrative government contracts.

After Ivanov's arrest, Sergei Shoigu himself did not remain in his position for long. As Defense Minister, Shoigu took part in the May 9 military parade on Red Square — three days later, on the evening of May 12, Putin removed him from his post and appointed former First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov in his place. Shoigu was then appointed secretary of the Security Council, replacing Nikolai Patrushev (who in turn became Putin's shipbuilding adviser).

According to The Insider's sources in the Defense Ministry, questions about Ivanov and his subordinates were raised as far back as 2014, but the deputy minister was confident that Shoigu and Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov would intervene on his behalf. According to some sources, Ivanov's arrest became possible only when Putin had decided to replace Sergei Shoigu.

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