A top Russian military official reportedly linked to Ukraine's Mariupol arrested for bribe-taking

A top Russian military official was arrested on suspicion of accepting a bribe, authorities said Tuesday, a high-profile arrest that comes as Moscow’s war in Ukraine is in its third year.

Timur Ivanov, 48, one of Russia's 12 deputy defense ministers, was sanctioned by both the United States and the European Union in 2022, after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that both President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu were informed about the arrest.

The Investigative Committee, Russia's top law enforcement agency, reported Ivanov's detention without offering any details of the accusations against him, saying only that he is suspected of taking an especially large bribe — a criminal offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

According to the defense ministry's website, Ivanov was appointed to the post in 2016 by a presidential decree and oversaw property management, housing and medical support for the military, construction and reconstruction of facilities.

Russian media claimed that he was in charge, among other things, of some of the construction in Mariupol — a port city in Ukraine's partially occupied Donestk region which was heavily bombarded and occupied by Russian forces early on in the war in 2022.

Zvezda, the official TV channel of the Russian military, reported in the summer of 2022 that the ministry “is building an entire residential block” in the severely damaged city and showed Ivanov inspecting construction sites.

That same year, the team of late Alexei Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner, alleged that Ivanov and his family had been living an extravagant life full of luxurious trips abroad, lavish parties and elite real estate.