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Russia Sacks General Over Soldier's Death

August 29, 2007 -- Russia has sacked a general who was in charge of a space forces base where a young conscript was beaten to death on August 27.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Serdyukov sacked General Konstantin Chmarov, who was acting head of the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia.

The conscript, 21-year-old Sergei Sinkonen, died of head injuries after two drunk officers beat him with belts and then threw him in a dog cage. One of the officers has already been indicted over Sinkonen's death.

Cases of physical abuse and severe hazing are widespread in the Russian military, which is also plagued by problems ranging from poor food and clothing to conscripts being forced into hard labor or prostitution.

(Reuters, RIA Novosti, Interfax)

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