Viktor Ishaev
© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko
Viktor Ishaev
Veteran politician and ex-governor of Khabarovsk Region, Viktor Ishaev, has been detained by the Federal Security Service in Moscow on suspicion of involvement in the embezzlement of 10 billion rubles ($155 million).

According to police sources, Ishaev is a defendant in an investigation into massive fraud in the timber industry. Earlier this week, police in Khabarovsk Region detained the former high-ranking local official and timber mogul as a part of the case.

The alleged fraud involved illegal subsidies for forest exploitation projects that resulted in the loss of over 10 billion rubles ($155 million), the Prosecutor General's Office confirmed.

On Thursday, police searched the offices of Khabarovosk regional government as well as the offices of Ishaev's family members, including his son, businessman Dmitry Ishaev. Local media reported that Ishaev Jr was also detained.

Later on Thursday, Russia's Investigative Committee issued a statement, confirming that Ishaev is under criminal investigation for embezzlement from Russia's oil giant Rosneft. He became a vice-president of the Far East branch of Rosneft in 2013 and retained this position until 2018, when the branch was closed.

Viktor Ishaev was considered to be one the most influential politicians in Russia's Far East, staying in power for almost three decades. He was governor of Khabarovsk Region from 1991 to 2009, and subsequently occupied several high official positions in the region. He served simultaneously as a presidential envoy and minister for the development of the Russian Far East until he was dismissed from both posts by President Vladimir Putin as the region struggled and his work became the subject of criticism.
Viktor Ishaev
© Sputnik / Alexey Nikolsky
Viktor Ishaev (L) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2012
Ishaev became a vice president of the Far East branch of Russian oil giant Rosneft. However, the veteran political heavyweight didn't lose his influence, and unofficially supported the new governor Sergey Furgal, while several officials from Ishaev's government continued working for his successor.