Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 150

Duma Defense Committee chairman General Lev Rokhlin, whose July 5 speech on corruption in the armed forces focused the public spotlight on alleged misdeeds by top military leaders (see Monitor, July 8-9), has himself been accused of improper financial dealings. According to yesterday’s Izvestiya, Rokhlin’s earlier involvement with a Volgograd-based reserve officers association and several related companies led to considerable profits for Rokhlin and several family members. The former commander of Russian troops in Chechnya denied these and other allegations of wrongdoing, and accused local Volgograd authorities of attempting to discredit him by spreading lies about his activities there.

Izvestiya concludes that some observers see Rokhlin’s July 5 address to the Duma as aimed at least in part at deflecting criticism from his own activities. The newspaper also criticizes the General Prosecutor’s Office for its decision not to investigate a wide range of Rokhlin’s more dubious activities, arguing that this course of action benefits neither Rokhlin nor the fight against corruption. (Izvestiya, July 30) Among those named in Rokhlin’s July 5 corruption allegations were two Russian generals believed to be under consideration for the then vacant defense minister post. Rokhlin’s speech may have played a role in Boris Yeltsin’s ultimate selection of Col. General Igor Rodionov to fill that position. (See Monitor, July 10, 18)

Chubais Outlines His Tasks.