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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Arrested Over Games on Firing Range

Two army officers have been charged with helping organize target practice for money at an artillery academy in Yekaterinburg.

Customers could fire different weapons at the academy's firing range, Mikhail Yanenko, assistant to the chief military prosecutor, said Friday.

He did not disclose how much the officers were charging or what kinds of weapons were made available for customers to fire.

Izvestia, which first reported about the issue Friday, put the price tag at 35,000 rubles ($1,355) per practice session and said the weapons included Kalashnikov automatic rifles and Makarov pistols.

The detained suspects are the head of the academy's firing range and the head of the academy's arsenal, Yanenko said. They were arrested April 6 and charged with abuse of power and misappropriating arms, he said. Abuse of power carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, while misappropriating arms has a sentence of up to 12 years.

Sergei Bogomolov, the assistant to the Military Prosecutor's Office of the Volga-Urals Military District, which is investigating the case, confirmed that the two had been charged with abuse of power but did not know whether they had also been charged with misappropriating arms.

Neither Yanenko nor Bogomolov would identify the two officers. Izvestia said they were Major Alexander Lisovykh and Warrant Officer Vladimir Kireyev.

The officers were caught by agents of the Federal Security Service, which is responsible for counterintelligence and other security-related operations in military units, working together with the local police force's economic crime unit, Izvestia reported. The agents and detectives posed as customers and handed the two officers more than 35,000 rubles to shoot at the range.

"I don't even know what the fuss is about," Izvestia quoted an unidentified officer at the academy as saying. "Shootings -- either commercial or for powerful people -- were organized before, and nobody was punished for them."

Academy officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

Local legislators and companies have been invited to try out the firing range, the report said. Company officials got to shoot in exchange for building materials.

Izvestia illustrated the report with a picture of dancing girls in front of a tank and a photo caption saying dancing was not yet available at the Yekaterinburg academy.

An Internet search on Friday turned up several tour operators offering rides in tanks and shooting games. The web site was offering the National Security Agent tour, which promised that customers could use special services weapons.

The firing takes place at an army base outside Moscow, said an employee who answered the telephone.