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Retired Russian Military Officer On Hunger Strike


SARATOV, Russia -- A retired Russian military officer has been on a hunger strike for 12 days in the western city of Saratov to protest not receiving free housing as a pensioner, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Colonel Aleksandr Glushchenko, who retired recently as first deputy of the Russian republic of Chechnya's military commandant, said the law stated that local authorities should provide retired military officers with such housing.

Glushchenko was in the army for 26 years. He is currently working as the chairman of the regional branch of the Union of Counterterrorist Operations Veterans.

Glushchenko set up a tent in a recreation center known by Saratov citizens as the "Kumys clearing" on December 30.

He has a laptop and a charging device that provides information about his health that is published on a Live Journal webpage.

Glushchenko also sends e-mails to Russian leaders in Moscow asking them to intervene in his situation.

On January 9, a doctor urged Glushchenko to immediately end the hunger strike because he was concerned about his health.

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