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Russian Soldier Given Lengthy Prison Term for Mass Shooting of Fellow Conscripts

Ramil Shamsutdinov has said his actions were retaliation to hazing and bullying. Yevgeny Yepanchintsev / TASS

A young Russian conscript has been sentenced to 24 and a half years in prison Thursday for gunning down eight fellow soldiers in what he said was retaliation to hazing, Russian media reported.

Ramil Shamsutdinov, 22, was arrested in the fall of 2019 on murder charges at a military base where he had served in the closed Far Eastern town of Gorny. He reportedly testified at the time that he opened fire after months of bullying by his superiors that culminated in rape threats left him with no other choice.

A jury convicted Shamsutdinov late last month, but asked the judge not to give him a life sentence.

A military court in the Zabaikalsky region's administrative center of Chita ruled Thursday to sentence Shamsutdinov to 24 years and six months in a maximum-security penal colony, according to Interfax.

The court also partially upheld multimillion-ruble claims filed by the victims’ families to compensate them for their moral injury.

The prosecution had requested a 25-year sentence.

The high-profile mass shooting left a stain on the Russian military’s reputation following years of costly reforms that claimed to have stamped out a pervasive culture of hazing left over from the Soviet era.

A separate court ruling in March 2020 sentenced Shamsutdinov’s fellow soldier to two years probation on hazing charges.

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