Russian National Guard general accused of taking large bribes

(Reuters) - Russian military investigators launched a criminal case on Monday against Major General Vadim Dragomiretsky, deputy commander of the central district of Russia's National Guard, after he was accused of receiving large sums in bribes, a senior lawmaker said.

"By decision of Russian National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov, documents have been sent on the release of Dragomiretsky from his duties with his subsequent dismissal," the lawmaker, Alexander Khinshtein, said on his Telegram channel.

"Obviously, under the weight of the evidence, Dragomiretsky was forced today to admit his guilt and even to write a confession," Khinshtein said.

Zolotov, a former bodyguard to President Vladimir Putin and who reports directly to Putin, was among Russian military leaders sanctioned by the United States following the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation.

"The example of General Dragomiretsky once again shows the determination of the Russian National Guard leadership in the business of purifying their ranks," Khinshtein said.

Khinshtein did not share details of the evidence for the case against Dragomiretsky, or his role in the case if any, but said the move was the result of efforts by the Federal Security Service and the National Guard.

The National Guard did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Khinshtein said Dragomiretsky was suspected of receiving kickbacks from a contractor who reconstructed a military unit in the Moscow region, with preliminary data showing a transfer of 19 million rubles ($250,000).

A colonel in charge of the base where material resources were stored was also implicated in the scheme, detained on Sunday and put in pre-trial detention, Khinshtein said.

(Reporting by Elaine Monaghan; Editing by Leslie Adler)