- Jul 2011
A Russian serviceman has shot dead eight fellow soldiers and seriously injured two more on a military base in the country's Far East, officials say.
Private Ramil Shamsutdinov - who has been detained - might have been suffering from mental health problems, they say.
The shooting happened in the military unit No. 54160 in the village of Gorny, not far from the city of Chita, on Friday evening.
A murder investigation is under way.
What is known about the shooting?
The shooting happened at 18:15 local time (11:15 GMT), Russia's Investigative Committee said.
The defence ministry earlier said that shots were fired during a change of guard at the base in the Transbaikal region.
Mr Shamsutdinov, a conscript, killed two officers and six fellow soldiers.
Russian media report that the suspect was targeting his victims in the head.
A special commission led by Deputy Defence Minister Andrey Kartapolov is flying to the region to investigate the shooting.
The military unit No. 54160 houses an artillery brigade and a missile brigade. It has Iskander missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Military service is mandatory in Russia for all male citizens aged 18-27. They typically serve 12 months, and can then sign a professional contract to continue in the armed forces.
In the mid-2000s, rights groups reported widespread violence and bullying - known as "dedovshchina" - against new conscripts in the Russian armed forces.
But in recent years, Russia has prided itself for modernising the military and rooting out bullying.
The soldier on a military base in Russia's Far East may have had a nervous breakdown, officials say.
Private Ramil Shamsutdinov, 20, with his parents in Tyumen region (Urals), where they are from
He was only on his 4th month of service and, according to reports from others at the base, was indeed bullied a lot by other, older soldiers. Many believe this is what finally made him snap. Very strange case. His dad, Salim, says Ramil had always wanted to serve, went to military patriotic summer camps as a kid; excelled at shooting and weapons handling in general. He set a record, apparently, taking apart and then reassembling an AK in 42 seconds...
He apparently wanted to become an officer; but failed to get into a military academy to do so; and thus had to serve as a regular soldier by draft instead.
It is possible, IMHO, that the disappointment of that, combined with the aforementioned hazing from the older troops (plus officers treating him, as a fresh conscript, like utter crap, which is the norm there too) would indeed have pushed this young fellow over the edge...
Kind of like this:
It is fashionable, today, over there, among even the generals themselves, to try to claim that the dedovshchina and all the accompanying disciplinary issues are a thing of the past, in the modern Russian military
Smarter people know it's bs, however...