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Senior officers disciplined over hazing in Russia Pacific Fleet

MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Several commanders in Russia's Pacific Fleet have been reprimanded for hazing incidents in their units, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

The ministry said four criminal cases have been opened against officers of the 390th Naval Infantry Regiment, charged with abuse of office, and added that two of them have been taken into custody.

The officers reprimanded by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov are: Lt.Gen. Igor Starcheus, commander of the Navy coast forces; Rear Adm. Sergei Belenov, deputy head of the Pacific Fleet indoctrination directorate; and Maj.Gen. Mikhail Pleshko, chief of the Pacific Fleet coast forces.

Military prosecutors conducted an inspection following allegations of brutal hazing and bullying against 10 conscripts.

The Russian military has been plagued by a series of hazing incidents in recent years that have caused death or injury to low-ranking soldiers. The most notorious case involved a New Year assault on Private Andrei Sychyov by older servicemen, after which his legs and genitals had to be amputated. The tragedy provoked an outcry throughout Russia.

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