A Russian submarine officer in Syria has been discharged for drinking and cursing at President Vladimir Putin’s portrait, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday.
Captain lieutenant Oleg Lavrenchuk was said to have consumed alcohol with five other service members in June 2019 after finding out that their tour in Syria would be extended. Lavrenchuk initially got off with a warning after admitting his guilt, but was later fired “for gross misconduct.”
“Lavrenchuk used foul language toward the military commandants as well as the portrait of Russia’s supreme commander,” Kommersant quoted court documents as saying.
The 17-year Russian Navy veteran reportedly had two and a half years left until retirement.
At least two military courts have struck down Lavrenchuk’s appeals for reinstatement.
Lavrenchuk’s lawyers claimed that his commanding officers failed to take into account his good character and clean disciplinary record. They also maintained that Lavrenchuk and his fellow servicemen drank “during off-duty hours, which did not affect the unit’s combat readiness.”
The court documents were reported to have said that Lavrenchuk “could not refrain from drinking alcohol, since he was depressed after finding out that his long tour of duty outside Russia was extended.”
Russia maintains a permanent military presence in Syria, which is gripped by a nine-year civil war, with a naval base on the Mediterranean and an airbase in the country’s northwest.