Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 133

Rokhlin charged that General Konstantin Kobets was mixed up with a construction company called Lyukon that had bilked the government out of billions of rubles earmarked for military housing. Kobets, whose son was a co-founder of Lyukon, is a long-time Yeltsin loyalist whose name has been mentioned as a candidate for Russian defense minister.

Rokhlin also accused the former head of the Defense Ministry’s finance department, Vasily Vorobev, of having illegally transferred over $23 million — from the sale of military hardware to Bulgaria — into an account at a German bank, where it disappeared. Despite losing his job last year, Vorobev continues to serve in the military and to receive a salary, Rokhlin said. Finally, Rokhlin fingered General Dmitry Kharchenko, who is Grachev’s brother-in-law and was among the generals dismissed earlier, for having deposited $5 million in government funds in a commercial bank and then pocketing the interest.

In addition to the charges leveled by Rokhlin, an official serving in the Russian military prosecutor’s office (which is conducting the Duma investigation), said that military investigators are looking into embezzlements worth billions of rubles. "Five generals and other high-ranking officials are facing criminal charges," he said, without mentioning their names. (Interfax, Itar-Tass, July 5) The latest developments suggest that forces in the parliament and the military prosecutor’s office have joined with recently-appointed Security Council secretary Aleksandr Lebed to pursue corruption charges that could easily lead to a purge of the Russian military leadership. On June 20 president Yeltsin had also lambasted top military officials for financial abuses that he said had cost the army more than 300 billion rubles.

Rokhlin Highlights Army’s Problems.