Russia: Corruption 'caused entire region's bailout'

The actions of an official who faces corruption charges caused the emergency bailout of the entire Moscow region, Russian TV has alleged.

The region's former deputy head Alexei Kuznetsov was arrested in the south of France at the weekend, having left Russia five years ago. He'll face charges including fraud and embezzlement, should the authorities secure his extradition. According to Rossiya TV's current affairs show Vesti Nedeli, the region was in such dire straits that essential services such as hospitals had to close, leading the federal government to make an emergency transfer equivalent to £335m to save it from bankruptcy.

The show alleged Kuznetsov also ran various real-estate and financial scams, such as creating an Olympic-standard swimming pool in a town of just 25,000. He had been subject of an international arrest warrant since October 2010, according to Russian news agency Interfax. However, he denied any wrongdoing in a TV interview, reports the independent Moscow Times.