Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 121

Adm. Igor Khmelnov, once the commander-in-chief of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and later the chief of the main navy staff in Moscow, has apparently confessed to charges of "abuse of powers leading to serious consequences." He has been under investigation since February, accused of allocating navy apartments to his relatives and selling a government-built dacha for personal gain while he was in command of the Pacific Fleet. On June 17 a spokesman for the military prosecutor’s office said that Khmelnov had pleaded guilty on all charges.

These charges may, however, be just the tip of the iceberg. Khmelnov is also suspected of having profited from the foreign sale of 64 Pacific Fleet ships and submarines — including its only two aircraft carriers. These were sold at "dumping prices" for scrap metal. Another news report said that "large sums of money vanished into thin air" during the construction of a naval memorial center on Russky Island, near Vladivostok. Khmelnov has flown to Vladivostok where he and his lawyer are said to be studying the case against him. (Russian news agencies, June 17)

But the naval command’s corruption problems do not end there. The commander-in-chief of the Northern Fleet, Adm. Oleg Yerofeev, and two of his senior deputies are also being prosecuted for corruption or abuse of office, a newspaper reported on June 18. Yerofeev is said to have used navy personnel, equipment, and material to build himself a mansion near Moscow. Moreover, the former head of the Baltic Fleet Training Center — together with a Border Guard admiral — are being charged with similar crimes. (Kommersant-daily, June 18)

Ukrainian Premier Is Shunted Aside.