Major General overseeing Moscow's air defense detained over alleged land bribery scheme

Moscow's Garrison Military Court has remanded Major General Konstantin Ogienko, responsible for the air defense operation in the Russian capital, into custody, reports the newspaper Kommersant.

According to court documents cited by the publication, Ogienko, who recently commanded the 1st Army of Special Purpose Air Defense and Missile Defense, is accused of illegal dealings involving defense lands in the Moscow region.

According to investigators, Ogienko tasked Major General Dmitry Belyatsky, commander of the 4th Air Defense Division, with facilitating a bribery scheme in exchange for land allocated to the Russian army. The plan was to obtain 30 million rubles ($304,568), but the generals only managed to collect 500,000 rubles ($5,076).

Belyatsky is currently under house arrest and has partially admitted his guilt. He has entered into a pre-trial cooperation agreement and provided testimony against Ogienko, naming him as the ultimate recipient of the money. Ogienko denies any wrongdoing. The court's decision to remand Ogienko into custody was attributed to his "extensive connections within the ranks of the Ministry of Defense of Russia" and concerns about his potential influence on witnesses.

Initially, the investigation into this case was carried out by the Moscow Military Investigative Department, but it has since been transferred to the Main Military Investigative Department. Criminal cases have been initiated, and an inventory of lands assigned to the 1st Air Defense Army is underway. Law enforcement agencies believe that some of these lands may have been previously sold for construction in exchange for bribes.

  Moscow, Russia