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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Academy Head Gets the Axe

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Monday fired the head of St. Petersburg's Mozhaisky Military Space Academy, where 67 cadets were diagnosed with typhoid fever last month and nearly 300 were hospitalized with food poisoning.

Academy head Lieutenant General Alexander Kovalyov was dismissed from the military on Ivanov's order, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified source in the Defense Ministry.

Ivanov ordered that two other officers -- Space Forces Major General Nikolai Parnyshkov and General Major Mikhail Reshetnyak, head of logistics for the Leningrad Military District -- receive official reprimands.

A fourth officer, Colonel Konstantin Lashko, head of the 985th center for state sanitary and epidemiological control, was demoted as a result of the incident.

In mid-October, 286 cadets were admitted to the 442nd District Military Hospital, many with salmonella poisoning. The outbreak had begun a week before, when one of the cadets felt unwell and was immediately hospitalized. Soon 166 cadets were rushed to the hospital with a suspected "infectious disease."

All the cadets eat in the same canteen, which was identified as the source of the outbreak.

Military prosecutors opened an investigation into violations of sanitation rules in the case.