The leader of Russia's Republic of Tyva in Siberia, Sholban Kara-Ool, has vowed to look into claims by several recruits from Tyva about alleged race-based bullying in a military unit in the western region of Yaroslavl.
In a statement on the VKontakte social network on January 10, Kara-Ool promised to "clarify the situation" and called on soldiers from Tyva to be strong and to try to avoid provocations.
A recruit from Tyva claimed in a video statement that five young soldiers from the republic were discriminated against by their commanders because of their ethnicity and the fact that they have the same surname as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Tyva are a Turkic-speaking ethnic group of some 308,000 people, mainly residing in the remote republic on the Russian-Mongolian border.
Sergei Shoigu is a Tyva native.