Russian forces in Chechnya (file photo)
5 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Russian pressure group today said that up to 3,000 Russian soldiers die every year due to accidents or brutality within the ranks.
Pressure Group Says Deadly Non-Combat Death Toll in Russian Military
The Committee of Soldiers Mothers of Russia, which campaigns for better treatment of conscripts, said the figures do not include deaths in combat.
The committee’s head, Valentina Melnikova, said at a news conference in Moscow that nearly 40,000 soldiers have been registered as handicapped following accidents that took place during their military service.
According to recent defense ministry data, 347 soldiers have died this year -- 101 committed suicide, 88 were killed in road accidents and 83 died in the days following other accidents.
Russian Army Cracks Down On Military-Service Loophole