Support The Moscow Times!

'Savage Division' to Return

A new attempt to end hazing and bullying among army conscripts may see the military reinstating a pre-revolutionary practice of forming units comprised of members of a single ethnic group or followers of the same religion, a news report said Monday.

The Defense Ministry is planning to create a number of experimental “mono-ethnic” units, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported, citing an unidentified military official.

The official said military statistics indicated that tensions grew in regiments with a relatively high percentage of North Caucasus conscripts, whom he said support one another and harass soldiers of other nationalities.

It was unclear when the new units may be formed.

The “Savage Division,” made up exclusively of North Caucasus natives, fought for Russia in World War I but was disbanded in 1918 after the Bolshevik Revolution.

(MT)


Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.