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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Urges Measures to End Hazing

President Vladimir Putin on Monday made his first public comments on the brutal hazing that shocked the nation, urging senior military officials to design measures to improve moral education and character-building among the ranks.

Prosecutors say Andrei Sychyov, a 19-year-old private at the Chelyabinsk Armor Academy, was beaten and tortured by fellow servicemen on New Year's Eve, causing severe injuries and a gangrenous infection that led to the amputation of his legs and genitals.

Putin, speaking in televised remarks at a meeting with Cabinet officials, urged the military to assist the prosecutors' probe "in all ways" and provide assistance to Sychyov's family, in particular in obtaining new housing.

He also ordered Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov to draft "legal and organizational measures" to boost what he termed "the work of education and upbringing."

Organizations across the country have pledged money to the conscript's family, with the Chelyabinsk regional administration saying it would give 500,000 rubles ($17,840).

Doctors said Monday that Sychyov had started to breathe without a ventilator but would remain in the hospital for some time.

(AP, Reuters)