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Russian military probes media reports on Airborne Troops chief

Shamanov
Shamanov - Sputnik International
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Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has ordered an official probe into media reports alleging the involvement of the Airborne Troops commander Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov in criminal activities.

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has ordered an official probe into media reports alleging the involvement of the Airborne Troops commander Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov in criminal activities.

"An official investigation will be conducted in connection with a number of articles concerning Shamanov," the defense minister's press secretary Col. Alexei Kuznetsov said on Tuesday.

The Novaya Gazeta newspaper, among other media sources, earlier reported that Shamanov had ordered two elite teams of paratroopers to hinder an investigation at a company owned by his son-in-law, who is on the run from police on alleged murder charges.

Neither the paratroopers nor the general actually arrived at the offices of the company, but the paper said it had recordings of the general's telephone conversations with his subordinates, his son, who is on the board of directors of the company in question, and some other people, which fully prove his involvement.

Meanwhile, Airborne Troops spokesman Col. Alexander Cherednik told the Echo Moskvy radio on Tuesday that the paratroopers did not do anything illegal.

"We have nothing to confess and nothing to apologize for," Cherednik said.

Vladimir Shamanov, a Hero of Russia and commander of the 76th Airborne Division during the second Chechen War, was appointed the new commander of the Russian Airborne Troops in May.

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