Sergeant given 4-year suspended sentence for hazing

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YEKATERINBURG, February 20 (RIA Novosti, Oksana Grebennik) - A military court in the Urals region of Chelyabinsk handed down a four-year suspended sentence Monday to an army sergeant convicted of a hazing attack on a private.

It was the first sentence to be handed down in a series of hazing cases at the tank academy in Chelyabinsk, 1,180 miles east of Moscow.

The court will consider the cases of five servicemen accused of hazing attacks on eight-ten fellow-servicemen this week.

The victims of hazing attacks are continuing their service, though some of them have been transferred to other military units.

A spokesman for the court said these trials were not connected with the tragedy of Private Andrei Sychev, who had to have both of his legs and genitals amputated after allegedly being beaten and tortured during the New Year's holidays. The case caused an outcry across the country.

According to official Russian statistics, 16 servicemen died in incidents involving bullying last year, but experts contend the actual number is much higher, as the official figures do not take into account hazing-related suicides.

Images (the Russian army)

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