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Mobilized soldier beats commander to death on train in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region

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A senior sergeant beat his commander to death on a train in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region, and will now be prosecuted for “violent acts committed against a superior during mobilization,” reported local publication Magnitogorsk Online.

The senior sergeant faces from 5 to 15 years in prison. The Magnitogorsk garrison military court has ruled that he remain in custody for two months.

According to investigators, the drunken serviceman assaulted his commander, a Russian army captain, in the compartment of a military train staff car at Misyash station on December 23. The captain succumbed to his injuries and died shortly after being attacked.

Both the captain and the senior sergeant were drafted into the Russian army as part of the mobilization announced in September.

In late September, President Vladimir Putin signed into law amendments that instituted penalties for desertion, looting and surrender, and effectively introduced the notions of “mobilization”, “martial law”, and “wartime” to the nation's Criminal Code. In particular, Article 334 of the Criminal Code (“violent acts against a superior”) was amended with part 3 – “imprisonment from 5 to 15 years for a crime committed in conditions of armed conflict.”

Since the start of the September draft, mobilized men have regularly died before reaching the front. In one military unit in the Leningrad region alone, at least four mobilized soldiers have died for various reasons.

In early December, four mobilized men died in a training unit in Yelani in the Sverdlovsk region. State Duma deputy Maksim Ivanov, the official in charge of coordinating mobilization-related issues in Russia’s Urals region, commented on the death: “To be honest, I don't know [what happened. They died and that’s it, we didn’t go into the details.”

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