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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hazing Blamed for Slaughter

Hazing, not drug abuse, was the cause of a bloody incident in which two young conscripts murdered six of their comrades at a remote Pacific border post, the Russian Public Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.

Andrei Bogdashin and Dmitry Belkov, two young border guards stationed at Tanfilyev post on the southernmost of the Kuril islands, opened fire in their barracks March 8, killing six border guards and wounding three before they shot down an Mi-8 helicopter.

The prosecutor's statement, carried on Itar-Tass, contradicted the official explanation of the Border Guard Department, which maintained that the two young guards had been on drugs and were planning to hijack either a helicopter or a patrol boat and emigrate to Japan when they carried out the attack.

The Prosecutor's Office said that Bogdashin and Belkov had been victims of "humiliating initiation rites," confirming an earlier assessment by military prosecutors assigned to the case. Tuesday's statement also said that there was not enough evidence to accuse the two trying to emigrate to Japan.