An officer on the staff of the 58th Army, Vladimir Gutnov, hanged himself on June 9. Some of his colleagues attributed the act to the fact that he had not been paid his salary for more than two months. Gutnov, who was married and had two small children, thus becomes the third officer on the staff to have taken his own life. The 58th Army, based in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, was formed in mid-1995 in order to provide a permanent military presence in Chechnya and the surrounding region. (RIA Novosti, June 10)
Yesterday, a Russian General Staff officer, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Kulakov, said that the suicide-rate among military personnel last year had been 36 per 100,000 — more than double the 1991 rate. The Russian media has reported four suicides by military personnel committed in the last 15 days. Analyzing these events, the Defense Ministry’s chief psychiatrist said that only 10 percent of those who took their own lives in the armed forces were mentally ill. The other 90 percent were described in a recent journal as "absolutely normal people driven into a corner by despair." (Russian news agencies, June 10; Obshchaya gazeta, June 5-11)
Lukashenka, Warning Yeltsin, Proclaims Commitment to Restoring USSR.