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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Base Boss Fired Over Fatal Attack

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has fired the commander on duty at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome when a conscript was beaten so badly by drunken officers that he died this week, the ministry said Wednesday.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, said they had charged a soldier in connection with the death of Private Sergei Sinkonen, who was left overnight in a dog kennel after the beating.

Major General Konstantin Chmarov, in charge of the cosmodrome at the time of the Aug. 15 beating, was dismissed, Defense Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Sedov said in televised comments.

The ministry said Serdyukov had taken personal control of the investigation in an apparent attempt to head off the kind of outrage military officials faced last year after a conscript was forced to squat for hours. Gangrenous infections later forced doctors to amputate the conscript's legs and genitals.

In a highly unusual move, Serdyukov expressed "sincere condolences" to the parents and relatives of the dead soldier and promised to take "harsh measures ... including discharging" those responsible for the latest incident.

The Prosecutor General's Office said that Corporal Vadim Kalinin had been charged with deliberate bodily harm resulting in death and exceeding his authority. An officer, Captain Viktor Bal, is still under investigation, it said.