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Russian Army Officer Charged For Forcing Soldiers To Work

Russia's military has been plagued by problems including hazing and abuse.
ST. PETERSBURG -- A Russian military officer at a unit in Leningrad Oblast has been charged with abuse of power for ordering soldiers to work at his summer cottage, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Colonel Andrei Berdyaev, the deputy commander of the unit in Russia's northwestern Leningrad Oblast, is officially accused of the illegal use of soldiers' labor in constructing his summer house. He also allegedly used army trucks to transport construction materials to his cottage.

Leningrad Military Region spokesman Andrei Gavrilyuk told RFE/RL that an investigation into the case has been completed and sent to court.

Representatives of the local nongovernmental organization Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg said it is common for "soldiers to be used as slaves by [military] officers in the construction of their personal houses."