MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - Lt. Gen. Valery Ivanov, deputy chief of Russia's Aerospace Defense Forces (VKO), has been suspended from office on suspicion of causing the state an estimated $1 billion in damage by organizing an illegal dumpsite in the Moscow Region, a military legal source said on Friday.
Ivanov, also VKO chief of staff, was suspended by the court ruling following the opening of a criminal case, after the VKO command had failed to act on the investigators’ request, the source told RIA Novosti.
In late December, the Interior Ministry said a group of serving and former Defense Ministry officials had organized an illegal dumpsite in the Moscow region.
According to the ministry, in 2010-2011, Ivanov signed several contracts with a private firm for reclamation and restoration of land at a military site north of Moscow. Instead, the firm set up a garbage dump there.
In June 2012, a criminal case was opened against Col. Gen. Yury Solovyov (Ret.) on suspicion of abuse of office leading to serious environmental damage. During the six years he worked as chief of the Air Force Special Command, the dumpsite area grew five times to 22 hectares (nine acres).