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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hazing Growing Among Conscripts

Hazing is on the rise in the army, driving many conscripts to suicide, a top general said Friday.

In a rare official acknowledgment of the problem, Lieutenant General Vladimir Popov, deputy commander of the ground forces, attributed the rise in hazing to "a dramatic worsening of the quality of conscripts," Interfax reported.

Popov said about 14 percent of soldiers recruited in the fall draft had a history of drug or alcohol abuse and 10 percent had been convicted of various crimes. "In general, the people who are joining the army are characterized by an extremely low social status and general cultural level," he said.

Hazing is a major reason for suicides among soldiers, Popov said.

Interfax quoted an unnamed spokesman for the ground forces' command as saying that about 30 percent of the deaths among servicemen were suicides. Sixty-four percent of those who commit suicide are conscript soldiers and sergeants, he said.