MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian military court on Thursday placed Colonel Artyom Gorodilov, commander of the country’s 83rd Guards Air Assault Brigade, in pre-trial detention for two months on charges of large-scale fraud, the TASS state news agency reported.

TASS quoted law enforcement as saying Gorodilov had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Gorodilov, who was promoted for his exploits in what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine, is the latest in a series of high-ranking Russian military officers and senior defence officials to be arrested on charges of corruption in recent months.

The wave of arrests coincided with the appointment in May of new Defence Minister Andrei Belousov, replacing his longtime predecessor Sergei Shoigu. It has seen major figures, including a deputy defence minister and the ministry’s head of personnel placed in detention, awaiting trial.

In 2022, the New York Times reported that Gorodilov, as commander of Russia’s 234th Air Assault Regiment, led forces that Ukraine and the West say killed Ukrainian civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha in March that year.

Moscow denies its forces carried out mass killings in Bucha.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Felix Light; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Peter Graff)

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