07:47 GMT25 February 2020
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    Russian minister for stiff punishment in Plesetsk hazing case

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    MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's defense minister said that officials whose behavior led to the death of a conscript at the Plesetsk space center August 15 should be strictly punished, a Defense Ministry representative said Wednesday.

    A captain and a warrant officer, drunk after celebrating a wedding, thought that three soldiers, including Sergei Sinkonen, had gone AWOL and began kicking them. After the beating, Sinkonen was placed into a dog kennel, and found only next morning. He died of his injuries at the Plesetsk military hospital Monday.

    "The defense minister decided to punish a number of officers and generals, in particular, acting Plesetsk chief, Major General Konstantin Chmarov. He was dismissed from office," the representative said, adding that orders to dismiss some other officials were being prepared.

    An investigation is underway. Captain Viktor Bal is undergoing a psychiatric test, and Warrant Officer Vadim Kalinin has been charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm leading to death and with abuse of office.

    The Defense Ministry representative said the Space Forces commander would decide on the punishment of other officials whose negligence led to the tragedy.

    Last year, the high number of casualties and hazing incidents became high-profile issues in the Armed Forces following a scandal involving Private Andrei Sychyov, who had both legs amputated after being beaten and tortured during New Year holidays at his army unit in the south Urals city of Chelyabinsk.

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