Feature

Military hazing kills

The week's news at a glance.

Moscow

Thousands of army conscripts are injured every year in harsh hazing rituals, and dozens die, Human Rights Watch said this week. The Russian military tradition known as the “rule of the grandfathers” subjects first-year soldiers to brutal treatment at the hands of their older peers. The hazing often includes random beatings, starvation, and even gang rape. In the first half of this year alone, 25 Russians were killed by hazing, and 60 of 109 suicides among servicemen were attributed to the practice. The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers, a Russian advocacy group that has long accused the military of condoning brutal conditions, said the report was a welcome international recognition of soldiers’ suffering.

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