Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Russia army corruption 'cost $100m in 2009'

Russian soldiers march during a Victory Day Parade on Red Square in Moscow, file pic
As army corruption has worsened, so has life for young Russian conscripts

Corruption in Russia's army cost the government 3bn roubles ($100m; £62m) last year - twice as much as in 2008, officials say.

Military Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky blamed the loss of funds on embezzlement during work on defence orders and research projects.

He said six generals were jailed last year for crimes including fraud.

The news comes despite President Dmitry Medvedev's stated aim to prioritise the fight against corruption.

Mr Fridinsky said money had vanished from housing programmes, meaning promised homes had not been built.

Meanwhile, life for young conscripts has not got any easier, says the BBC's Daniel Fisher in Moscow.

The Russian army is infamous for the beatings given to new soldiers - some of which have resulted in death or severe injury.

Mr Fridinsky admitted that cases of hazing had actually gone up in 2009 despite the army's best attempts to curb the practice.

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