Former Russian Ground Forces Commander Vladimir Chirkin has been charged with taking a bribe of 450,000 rubles for assistance in the home allotment, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

"Indeed, the Russian Investigative Committee's investigative department is looking into the case of Col. Gen. Chirkin. He has been accused of taking a bribe via an intermediary," Markin answered an Interfax question on Friday.

"It happened in 2008 when Chirkin was a deputy commander of the Moscow military district," Markin noted.

According to the police, an intermediary handed over a 450,000-ruble ($13,650) bribe to Chirkin for his assistance in the allotment of a one-room apartment from the Russian Defense Ministry to a former serviceman," Markin said.

Travel restrictions have been imposed on the defendant, he noted.

Kommersant said on Thursday, quoting a source close to the Russian presidential administration, "Vladimir Putin signed Decree No867 removing Gen. Chirkin from his command position on December 2 but it was never published on the Kremlin website."

The newspaper said that the ex-commander's case had entered into the final stages. It is still necessary to make a number of examinations before definitively indicting Gen. Chirkin.

The general cannot count on amnesty because he is accused of a serious felony, Kommersant said.

The newspaper said that the general pleaded not guilty and was unavailable for comment.

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