Recent video footage shows a Russian brigade commander engaging in a hazing ritual that involves forcibly stripping soldiers nude and subjecting them to beatings.
What Happened: A Russian news outlet shared a video clip showing an officer of Russia’s 4th Tank Division, near Moscow, forcing nude soldiers to pluck grass.
Soldiers can be heard narrating the video, criticizing the hazing, a commonplace experience for Russian conscripts.
A blogger named WarTranslated, who covers the Ukraine war, first shared the video on X.
Russian brigade commander forces soldiers to undress and perform humiliating actions, such as plucking grass. The video was reportedly filmed in the territory of the 4th Tank Division in Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Region.
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) August 3, 2023
“They called the military police and stripped the men naked,” one soldier says in the recording, as translated by WarTranslated. “People are furious that he’s torturing people.”
The location where the hazing of troops took place, along with the nearby drilling grounds shown in the video, aligns with the base of the 4th Guards Tank Division in Naro-Fominsk, situated outside of Moscow. Notably, the division has experienced significant losses in Ukraine, Insider reported.
According to a report by the Moscow Times, the ritual has been around for centuries, and the Russian government passed a series of reforms in 2008 to eradicate the practice.
“They’ll get a mutiny if they keep going that way,” a soldier narrating the video says, per WarTranslated. “Everyone has a limit.”
Earlier in July, Business Insider reported that Russia had sent ill-trained fighters and former convicts to Ukraine on amphetamines so they could fight in the war regardless of the odds or the outcome. The report cited Ukrainian military personnel who said the Russian soldiers they encountered often appeared to be “under the influence of amphetamines or other narcotic substances.”
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