The general put to trial for boots

Agency WPS
April 23, 2004, Friday


SOURCE: Kommersant, April 21, 2004, p. 5

by Arman Vaneskegyan

On April 20, court martial of the Russian Group of Forces in the
North Caucasus opened consideration of the case of Vyacheslav
Aboimov, former commander of the Russian Border Troops in Armenia.
Major general is indicted for large embezzlement and misconduct in
office which entailed grave consequences.

Over 30 years of service, Vyacheslav Aboimov managed to visit nearly
all border districts of the Soviet Union, hot spots of Afghanistan
and Tajikistan, for which he has been awarded the Red Banner Order
and the Order for Military Services. In 1993 he started his service
in Armenia, in 1999 became head of the local group of the Border
Troops. The criminal proceedings against the general were initiated
in late August 2003. An audit of the Main Military Prosecutor’s
Office then discovered a misuse of funding to the amount of about 3.5
million rubles. Colonel Vasily Filonov, Aboimov’s deputy for
logistical services was nearly imprisoned together with his superior.
However, by the start of 2004 the investigation acquitted Colonel
Filonov saying that he had only been fulfilling General Aboimov’s
orders. The deputy commander is now testifying at the trial.

According to our sources, the general proved to be under trial due to
a bargain concluded in early 2004 with Simeron Enterprises of Cyprus
– a long-standing partner of the military, which has its subsidiary
in Armenia and is controlled by entrepreneur Ashot Boyadzhyan. The
company committed itself to supplying construction materials, fuel
and footwear for the Russian border guards to the amount of 900
million Drams (approximately 45 million rubles). The supplies were to
be repaid from the targeted fund: the Armenian government allocated
the money for construction materials and the footwear (Armenia has
entitled itself to purveying for the Russian group of the joint
Armenian-Russian border troops), while Russia paid for the footwear.
However, when the border guards received the major part of the fuel
and construction materials it turned out that the Armenian budget
delayed the money transfer for the Russian group of forces. To avoid
the penalties, General Aboimov ordered to at least partially settle
the debts to Simeron Enterprises with the funding allocated for
repayment of footwear. The investigation regarded the transfer of 3.5
million rubles to be a sufficient plea for initiation of criminal
proceedings against the commander. The border guards have never
received the footwear for which the money was allocated. In opinion
of Major General Sergei Bondarev, acting commander of the Federal
Border Service Department to Armenia, his predecessor and his
partners caused damage both to Russia and Armenia. The thing is that
Simeron Enterprises didn’t pay taxes into the Armenian budget –
respectively, the local national security service wants to ask
General Aboimov and his business partner Boyadzhyan a number of

The meeting ceased on April 20 hardly after it started: the trial was
postponed “for several days” due to the procedural subtleties, which
the garrison court martial refused to announce. (…) A source close
to the military grouping said that the amount of financial losses
incriminated to General Aboimov could “rise considerably” during the

Translated by Andrei Ryabochkin