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Savage Hazing Incident Causes Outrage In Russia

Russian Defense Minister Ivanov (file photo) (epa) 26 January 2006 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov today promised to make public the results of an investigation into a hazing incident in the army that has caused public outrage in Russia.

Military prosecutors said eight conscripts were severely beaten up by more senior servicemen over the New Year holiday. One is fighting for his life. If he survives, he will be crippled for life.

Both his legs, as well as his genitals, were amputated as a result of the beating. He had reportedly been forced to crouch for several hours and had repeatedly been kicked on his legs, causing inflammation and gangrene. He received no medical aid for three days.

Six servicemen have been detained over the incident, which occurred in a tank academy in the city of Chelyabinsk, in the Urals Mountains in western Siberia.

There have been accusations of a cover-up by military top brass.

After initially down playing the incident, Defense Minister Ivanov said today that officers from the armed forces' General Staff had joined the investigation.

Vladimir Moltenskoi, the deputy commander of Russia's ground forces, said the Chelyabinsk tank academy would be disbanded.

(Interfax, Ekho Moskvy)