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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hazing in Army Grows 25% in 2 Years

Hazing crimes are soaring in the Army, the country's chief military prosecutor said Tuesday, and he urged the Defense Ministry to seek cooperation with the dominant Russian Orthodox Church to tackle the problem.

Alexander Savenkov said hazing incidents had increased by 25 percent over the past two years, with 246 soldiers committing suicide last year, half of them driven to suicide by hazing. Hazing crimes now constitute 30 percent of all crimes committed in the Army, as opposed to 11 percent in recent years.

Savenkov noted that such a dramatic increase in crime statistics could be attributed to prosecutors' efforts to register and investigate more crimes.

To combat hazing, Savenkov urged military officials to cooperate with the church. Priests may help conscripts deal with anger and frustration, which causes them to attack fellow soldiers, or help those who have been abused, he said.