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Last Updated: Friday, 30 July, 2004, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
Russian army suicides: Your comments
Russian soldiers
The Russian military says suicides among its soldiers have increased by 38% in the past year, with 109 soldiers taking their own lives.

Chief military prosecutor Alexander Savenkov said almost half of those were "driven to suicide" as a result of bullying by their superiors.

Do you know of anyone who has been affected by the increase in suicides among Russian soldiers? Have you served in the Russian military?

Your comments:

It's not surprising considering they have no money, lack of discipline and little respect for civilians.
Kev, Ex UK Forces

From In 1988 I was called up as a reservist for training as an officer - it was in the Donetsk Region (modern Ukraine). Our quarters were in an administrative building. There was a soldier on duty, a hopelessly intelligent guy in spectacles. A staff sergeant approached him and before saying anything punched him in the stomach. I was walking up the stairs and happened to be a witness to the beating. I asked the sergeant why he did it.

He said "this is part of soldiers' training". I took him to a maintenance room and after having a 'chat' with the sergeant felt like a boxer after a punch bag workout. I made him promise he would 'change his training methods. Later the poor soldier told me that the senior commanding officer had been aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it. I gave him this advice: if the sergeant continued the beatings after my departure from the unit "kill him". I might have been wrong.
Mark, Israel

From I served in the Russian army in 1991-1993 in the Far East. It was a difficult time: the Soviet Union and its army had just disappeared and the a new one was being established. Army officers hated democratic changes in the country. They didn't understand what was going on. There was a practice at our border guard detachment: a soldier who had done something wrong or was just disliked by his commanding officer would have guard dogs trained at him. Dogs had to be trained somehow hadn't they? So, during 'training' dogs were set on a person (playing the role of a person illegally crossing the border). Usually the 'spy' would have special clothing, but in our case dogs were attacking soldiers in everyday uniform.
Ruru, Russia

From I served in the Soviet army. Many acts of violence are said to be characteristic of the whole of the army which is not true. In my detachment there was normal conduct between soldiers and their commanding officers. There are 'labour' detachments like engineering forces, and there are battle troops with normal discipline and high class training.
Semyon, Israel

From I know that in one detachment young border guards were taught 'to dodge bullets' - older soldiers would make them stand next to a wall and start throwing stones at them.
Marco, Russian Federation

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Death rate high in Russian Army
13 Sep 03  |  Europe



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