03:27 GMT +317 November 2018
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    Russian victim of brutal hazing attack to run for parliament

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    YEKATERINBURG/MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - A former conscript who had his legs and genitals amputated after being beaten and tortured by fellow soldiers has applied to run for election to Russia's lower house, his sister said Thursday.

    Andrei Sychyov "has decided to stand for the State Duma as a Union of Right Forces [SPS] candidate," Marina Muffert said.

    The incident, which occurred on New Years' Eve 2005, sent shockwaves though Russian society, and highlighted the problem of dedovshchina - or hazing - in the Russian armed forces.

    Sychyov wrote in his blog on September 12 that the SPS had accepted his application, but Anton Bakov, the head of the party's regional office in the Sverdlovsk Region, in the Urals, said the application had been rejected due to problems connected with the former soldier's registration.

    "The final decision on Sychyov's application will be made at a party session in Moscow on September 21," Bakov added.

    He also said that if Sychyov is included in the list of SPS candidates he is likely to represent the party in Chelyabinsk - the same city where his 2005 ordeal took place.

    A court martial in Chelyabinsk ruled on September 26, 2006 that the main defendant in the Sychyov case, Sergeant Alexander Sivyakov, should serve four years in a low-security penal colony. His co-defendants, Pavel Kuzmenko and Gennady Bilimovich, received suspended sentences of one year and six months, respectively.

    Hazing, a tradition stretching back to the Soviet era, is just one of the problems faced by the average conscript in the Russian Army. The Russian Soldiers' Mothers Committee has estimated that around 1,000 soldiers die every year as a result of non-combat situations. A significant minority of these are murders and suicides.

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