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'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.


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