Russian soldier accused of mass shooting says he was victim of hazing – report

Ramil Shamsutdinov allegedly opened fire on colleagues at a military garrison near the city of Chita, Siberia on October 25, 2019.

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“The Ministry of Defense said that the soldier committed the crime as a result of a nervous breakdown caused by personal circumstances,” TASS reported.

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“At the same time, he, as well as other several soldiers are regarded as victims in a criminal case dealing with hazing in the military unit,” the agency added.

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In a letter obtained from the accused’s father and published by TASS, Shamsutdinov apologized to the families of his alleged victims.

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“I regret that I could not restrain myself and took an extreme step, but I had no other choice — I could not endure being harassed any more,” Shamsutdinov wrote.

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“I express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and please forgive me if you can.”

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A system of pervasive hazing was once common in the Russian and Soviet militaries, and bullied soldiers sometimes turned their weapons on colleagues. Such cases are relatively rare today.

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