Russia arrests ex-commander of 58th army on suspicion of fraud, TASS says

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The former commander of Russia's 58th army, Ivan Popov, has been arrested on suspicion of "large scale fraud", state-run TASS agency reported on Tuesday.

TASS said a military court had ordered the detention of Major General Popov for two months. Popov's lawyer Sergei Buynovsky was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying he had already appealed against his custody.

Last year, Popov said he had been dismissed after telling the military leadership the truth about the then dire situation for Russia on the frontlines in Ukraine. Russia has since regained the initiative, advancing gradually since February in the east of the country.

Popov, whose military call sign was "Spartacus" and who commanded Russian units in southern Ukraine, explicitly raised the deaths of Russian soldiers from Ukrainian artillery and said they lacked proper weapons systems and reconnaissance to counter it.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mark Trevelyan)