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Former Russian Army Commander Charged With Taking Bribes

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Colonel General Vladimir Chirkin attend a wreath-laying ceremony outside the Kremlin in Moscow in May.
The former commander of Russia's land forces, General Vladimir Chirkin, has been charged with bribe-taking.

An Investigative Committee spokesman, Vladimir Markin, said on December 20 that Chirkin is suspected of receiving 450,000 rubles ($13,600) bribe in 2008 while serving as deputy commander of the Moscow Military District for arranging an apartment for a retired military officer.

Chirkin has been ordered not to leave Moscow while the investigation into his case is under way.

Russia's "Kommersant" daily reported on December 19, citing sources in the Kremlin, that President Vladimir Putin had signed a decree on removing Chirkin from his post as commander in chief on December 2.

The decree has never been posted on the Kremlin's official website.

Based on reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and "Kommersant"