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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Russia soldier jailed for abuse
Bullying victim Andrei Sychev
The victim, Andrei Sychev, developed gangrene after being told to crouch
A Russian soldier has been sentenced to four years in jail for abusing a conscript soldier so badly that his legs and genitals required amputation.

Sgt Alexander Sivyakov was the main defendant among three soldiers accused of abusing Andrei Sychev, 18.

The case has made headlines in Russia for highlighting army brutality.

The BBC's Moscow correspondent says the incident could return to haunt Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, who has been tipped for a future presidential bid.

The incident took place at the Chelyabinsk Tank Academy in the Ural Mountains on New Year's Eve 2005, while Sgt Sivyakov's unit went on a drinking spree to celebrate the holiday.

The conscript soldier was tied to a chair and beaten, and made to crouch for so long that the blood flow to his legs was cut off and he developed gangrene.

Nine months after the attack, he remains in hospital.

Sivyakov, was convicted of exceeding his authority and using violence. He always denied any wrongdoing.

The prosecution had demanded a penalty of six years in jail. Pte Sychev's family denounced the punishment - even before it was handed out - as inadequate.

More than 6,000 soldiers were victims of abuse last year, the military has said.

The case sparked an outcry in Russia, with liberal groups using it to demand an end to conscription to the armed forces.

The Kremlin has refused to end the draft, under which all Russian men between 18 and 27 must spend two years in the military.

Russian conscripts found hanged
20 Apr 05 |  Europe

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