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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Former Elite Officer Is Convicted of Hazing

A military court on Wednesday sentenced a former sergeant in the elite Presidential Regiment to two years in a disciplinary unit for hazing after one of his subordinates said he had attempted suicide because of his superior's abuse.

The Moscow Military Garrison Court convicted the former junior sergeant, Vladimir Shumenko, 22, of exceeding his authority and using violence.

Prosecutors in the two-day trial said Shumenko's actions drove a soldier in the unit, Alexander Fokin, 20, to try to kill himself in January.

The court said that Shumenko, who commanded a communications squad in the regiment, had forced Fokin to do pull-ups before lights-out several times in January and then beat him for what he considered an unsatisfactory performance, Itar-Tass reported. It said the court found that Fokin received light physical injuries and that his suicide attempt was directly linked with the abuse.

Prosecutors had requested that the court sentence Shumenko to three years in prison, Ekho Moskvy radio reported.

The court sentenced Shumenko to two years in prison but then immediately softened the punishment to two years in a disciplinary unit, Itar-Tass reported.

His lawyer, Igor Taranenko, who had asked for a suspended sentence, said he would appeal.

The tasks of the Presidential Regiment, which has strict recruitment requirements, include protecting Russian leaders and the Kremlin.