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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rutskoi's Allegations Only Partly Vindicated

A special investigation team appointed by President Boris Yeltsin confirmed Friday some corruption charges made by his arch rival. Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, but it dismissed most of his allegations.


The investigators said the key Rutskoi charge that was substantiated involved former Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Poltoranin. They said he improperly approved commercial activities in a government building in former East Germany. The investigators also accused two generals of diverting more than $10 million into Western bank accounts.


Rutskoi charged in April that top government officials, including Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, profited from the dissolution of the U. S. S. R'. s former colonial empire in eastern Germany.


At a press conference Friday, Alexei Ilyushenko, head of the State Inspectorate, emphasized that "virtually all" of Rutskoi's accusations against Russia's military in Germany were untrue.


"Nothing was proved", Ilyushenko said, regarding Rutskoi's allegations of widespread corruption by Russian officers in East Germany. He accused the vice president of "throwing stones at the headquarters and at the army itself, insulting the army".


Yet the anti-corruption boss did acknowledge several striking examples of embarrassing abuses.


In one 1992 violation, Poltoranin approved the revamping of a Russian House of Culture in East Berlin into a joint commercial venture which has yet to bring a kopek or pfenning to government coffers, the inspectorate's top military investigator said.


"He had no right to fulfill such functions on behalf of the government", said Viktor Simakov.


The agreement was voided Thursday, officials said.


At Russia's Federal Information Service where Poltoranin is director, a close aide said Poltoranin may have overstepped his bounds to enact a good plan.


"Yes, in that period perhaps he didn't have those powers, but the man was thinking of the deal, not whether he had the powers or not", said Information Service deputy director Vladimir Volodin. "If the project is good, give him the right to approve it".


The State Inspectorate also named Nikolai Sadovnikov and Yevgeny Kruglov, the former head and deputy chief of the Defense Ministry's trade department, as having used their positions to move 17 million Deutsche marks (more than $10 million) into Swiss, U. S. and other foreign bank accounts.


They used the chaos of the Soviet troop withdrawal from East Germany to profit from a variety of complex schemes, investigators said. The two men, both generals by rank, have since been fired, investigators said.