Russian soldier kills eight fellow troops

October 25, 2019
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A Russian soldier opened fire on troops at a Siberian military base, killing eight and wounding another two, officials said, blaming the attack on a possible “nervous breakdown”.

“The serviceman who opened fire has been detained,” the defence ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The incident took place at an army base in the Chita region in eastern Siberia.

The base is located in the closed town of Gorny and is managed by the Ministry of Defence directorate responsible for maintaining Russia’s nuclear arsenal, according to the Interfax news agency.

“The actions of the serviceman could be the result of a nervous breakdown caused by personal circumstances not connected to his military duty,” the defence ministry said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

The wounded were hospitalised, the ministry said.

State news agency TASS, quoting a source, said two of the victims were officers, while the rest were conscripts and contract servicemen.

TASS said the two wounded were in a serious condition and would probably be flown to Moscow for treatment.

Efforts to curtail hazing, a chronic problem in the Soviet military, have made some headway under President Vladimir V. Putin, who has sharply increased funding for the armed forces in a push to make the military more modern and professional.

The defense ministry, distancing itself from any responsibility for the shooting, said the shooter had apparently opened fire “due to a nervous breakdown caused by personal circumstances not related to military service.”

The ministry sent a commission headed by a deputy minister, Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, to the scene of the incident to investigate, and the Investigative Committee opened a murder case.

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