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Russian Officer Kicks Soldier To Death

A woman holds a placard that shows victims of hazing and reads "Women, give birth to the brave, and they'll return you their corpses" during a protest against conscription in Moscow on August 9 (ITAR-TASS) August 11, 2006 -- Military prosecutors in Russia said today that a soldier has died after a drunk commander kicked him in the head.

Dmitry Panteleyev, who served with a railroad troops unit stationed in a Moscow suburb, died of his injuries in a hospital on August 9. The officer has been taken into custody.

Vicious bullying of young conscripts by older servicemen is common in Russia's armed forces.

Russia's prosecutor-general, Yury Chaika, said on August 4 that 17 soldiers died and more than 100 suffered injuries in hazing incidents in the army in the first half of 2006.

He said the overall crime rate in the armed forces had risen by 13 percent this year and that there have been more than 3,500 reported cases of hazing since January.

(Interfax, Reuters)

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