Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Suicide rate in Russia's armed forces remains high

Russia's Defence Ministry has recently confirmed that its armed forces lost 471 service personnel to non-combat deaths in 2008, 30 more than in 2007. By far the largest single cause was suicide which accounted for 231 deaths.
Although still very high the official figure for the number of suicides is down by just under a third compared to 2007 when 341 Russian soldiers were reported to have taken their own lives. The Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia however continue to be convinced that the real number of deaths was several times higher than the official figures.
The picture of life within the Russian armed forces remains grim: bullying, especially the infamous dedovshchina system, is still rife among Russian troops and is the most common reason for suicide. Most Russian soldiers are conscripts and the dangers and hardship of life in the armed forces even in peacetime make many young men keen to avoid service.

AquilaVictrix: Dedovshchina and high suicide rates in Russia's armed forces