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Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Russian soldier killed by officer
By James Rodgers
BBC News, Moscow

Russian soldiers
Some Russian soldiers suffer serious abuse while in the army
A Russian soldier has died from injuries inflicted by his commanding officer, the Russian military says.

Private Dmitry Panteleev was beaten by a captain in his unit after reportedly being absent without leave.

The captain is under arrest and prosecutors have opened a criminal case against him.

Physical abuse - which sometimes, as in this case, results in death - continues to be a major problem in the ranks of the Russian army.

A military spokesman said Pte Panteleev left his unit on 4 August in the town of Lukhovitsy, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Moscow, without permission.

Serious head injuries

He came back drunk and his commanding officer, Capt Vyacheslav Nikiforov, is then said to have beaten him severely, inflicting serious head injuries.

Pte Panteleev died in hospital on Wednesday.

It is the latest in a series of deadly instances of abuse in the Russian army.

Last week, Russia's prosecutor general said 17 men had been killed, and another 120 injured, in the first six months of this year.

The most horrific case is that of Pte Andrei Sychev.

He had to have his genitals and both his legs amputated after being beaten. His alleged attackers are currently on trial in a military court.


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