A member of President Yeltsin’s human rights commission yesterday told an international conference in Moscow that conditions in the Russian military are "inhuman." According to Nikita Cheldymov, 1,037 service personnel were killed during the first nine months of this year, while 2,106 were injured and 1,408 were victims of bullying or hazing. Over this same period 314 officers and men committed suicide. The chairman of the commission, Vladimir Karashkin, said that soldiers and sailors — particularly those in their first year of service — were not receiving the rights and freedoms guaranteed to them by the constitution. "The picture we are getting," he said, "is a depressing one."
In an effort to improve this dismal situation, the Military Prosecutor’s Office reported yesterday that it had embarked on a large-scale effort to counter the so-called "nonregulation relations" within the armed forces by dispatching 110 staff members to units in six military districts. These surprise raids began recently with an inspection of the Moscow security brigade attached to the Defense Ministry itself, and another of a special-purpose division of the International Troops. As a result, criminal proceedings have been initiated against 60 persons in these two units. (Russian media, November 19)
OSCE’s Danish Chairman Endorses Baltic Accession to NATO.