A Russian deputy military prosecutor claims that crime in the Russian armed forces, as well as among troops of the interior ministry and special services, has been rising rapidly in recent years, and that incidences of crime are often concealed by commanding officers who fear reprisals. According to Lt. General of Justice Stanislav Geveto, the largest growth of crime has occurred in Russia’s elite Airborne Forces, although crime rates there had already been high over a long period of time. Geveto pointed to theft of weapons, abuse of authority, and the brutal hazing of new recruits as serious problems throughout Russia’s various military agencies. In the army alone, he said, more than 100 servicemen were killed and more than 900 critically injured last year in incidents of brutality. But Geveto said that nearly half of all military crimes involved desertion of recruits from their military units (he was not referring to draft-dodging), and that billions of rubles have been wasted in the search for some 15,000 missing soldiers. The vast majority of these men flee their units, he suggested, because of abysmal living conditions brought on by acute problems in the provision of food, clothing, and medical services. (Trud, June 26)
Presidents Address Security Issues on U.S. Visit.