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Russian Officers Fired For Hazing Reinstated To Military


Ella Polyakova, a representative of the Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg

Ella Polyakova, a representative of the Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG -- Eight officers who were fired in a hazing scandal at a military base near St. Petersburg have been allowed to return to military service, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Human rights activists and members from the organization Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg who have followed the case say that since being dismissed in December all of the officers have been released from prison and reinstated to the military.

Ella Polyakova, a representative of the Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg, told RFE/RL that it now seems like no real punishment was given to the men for their crimes.

"This is a sign to us that army reforms have not been carried out," Polyakova said. "It is a signal to society that the whole federal program to reform the army has collapsed, and who knows where the money is."

The Defense Ministry unsuccessfully tried to overturn the court's decision to reinstate the officers.

The eight officers were originally accused of beating soldiers at the Kamenka military base near St. Petersburg and received sentences of between three and four years in prison.

Kamenka became notorious in 2009 after numerous reports of the bullying and beating of recruits, some of whom deserted their units and at least one of whom committed suicide.
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