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Russian General Staff colonel arrested in Moscow for bribing enlistment officer with washing machine, Kommersant reports

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Moscow’s 235th military garrison court has placed General Staff Colonel Ivan Mertvishchev under house arrest for two months for bribing a military enlistment officer with a washing machine, Kommersant reported citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

According to the sources, Mertvishchev was going to inspect Moscow's Ramenki District Joint Military Commissariat as part of Russia’s fall draft campaign. A week before the visit, he phoned the military commissariat and warned that he would come for an inspection. Kommersant’s sources say that Mertvishchev hinted that he knew about the dire state of draftee enrolment and would have definitely found something to criticize, even if there were no issues with the required documentation.

In exchange for a “smooth” inspection, Mertvishchev offered the head of the Military Commissariat to buy a washing machine worth at least 70,000 roubles (approximately $1150). In response, the officer pretended to agree to such terms, but filed an extortion report with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). FSB officers then bought a washing machine that would suit Mertvishchev, asked him to pick up the order, and detained him upon delivery.

The colonel is now the subject of a criminal investigation for bribery and extortion (Part 5 of Article 290 of Russia’s Criminal Code). Mertvishchev has fully admitted his guilt.

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