Former commander of Russian 58th Army detained on fraud charges

A court in Russia has ordered the detention of Ivan Popov, former commander of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, for two months, reports TASS, citing law enforcement agencies.

According to the Russian news outlet, Popov has been accused of large-scale fraud. No further details have been provided by TASS.

At the same time, the Telegram channel Mash reports that the Russian general has been accused of illegally selling 2,000 tonnes of metal structures worth approximately 100 million rubles, which were intended for the construction of a defence line in the "Special Military Operation zone".

The Telegram channel elaborates that Popov, along with an entrepreneur from the Krasnodar region and an officer from the Southern Military District, sold several thousand tonnes of metal that was purchased as aid from the occupying authorities of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The material had been designated for the construction of engineering structures for the 58th Army.

Popov commanded the 58th Army until July 2023. As reported by Russian media, he was removed from his position by Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, who was reportedly displeased with Popov’s report that highlighted the need for unit rotations. Gerasimov accused Popov of sowing panic and blackmailing senior leadership, according to the Telegram channel. Popov later confirmed his dismissal.

  Russia, Russian army