A Russian soldier has been sentenced to four years in prison for brutally bullying a younger recruit. Junior Sergeant Alexander Sivyakov was told that he abused his position in a case that has highlighted the widespread physical violence in Russia’s military. The victim’s family was upset at the sentence saying it did not reflect the irreversible damage done to Andrei Sychev’s health.
Last year, when he was 19 years old, Sychev sustained such severe injuries that doctors had to amputate his legs and genitals. It is not entirely clear what happened. But it is believed that he was beaten and forced to crouch for hours in a bullying ritual. The blood flow was cut to his limbs and he developed gangrene.
What shocked much of the world was that such injuries are not uncommon in Russia, far away from combat zones hundreds of conscripts are maimed and even killed each year.