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Defense Minister Shoigu Rebukes Officials for Leaking to Media

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave officials a dressing-down for using the media to anonymously express their concerns about conditions in the army, suggesting they played into the hands of sensationalist journalists.

"Some people would really like our army to be starving, freezing and insufficiently clothed," Sergei Shoigu said Friday during a conference call.

"So they [journalists] cite certain sources in the Defense Ministry — and all these sources are sitting in on this meeting."

Shoigu warned regional and local officials against using media as a channel for "speculation and complaints," saying that the allegations are often ungrounded and urging officials to raise concerns with the ministry directly.

As an example, Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov referenced a complaint about poor heating and terrible conditions in three military schools in the republic of Buryatia.

"A check showed that one of the schools didn't exist at all, and the other two don't have anything to do with the Defense Ministry," Bulgakov said.

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