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Russian Conscript Sentenced to 5-and-a-Half Years for Beating Officer

Alexander Leshkov (L).

A conscript in the Russian army who pushed and swore at his superior officer on a parade ground in the Moscow region last year was sentenced to five-and-a-half years hard labor in a penal colony on Wednesday.

The incident, a video of which quickly went viral after being made public on Nov. 13, took place at Patriot Park, a military-themed activity park and exhibition center outside Moscow run by the Russian Defense Ministry that was used to train Russia's military recruits in the autumn. 

In the video, Private Alexander Leshkov can be seen angrily complaining about the lack of training and the poor support being given to newly mobilized troops ahead of their deployment to the frontlines in Ukraine.

"Are we going into battle in formation? If not then why the fuck are we doing this?" Leskov asks his superior, describing the situation as "a travesty, imitation firing, imitation exercises..."

The footage also shows Leshkov insulting the lieutenant colonel standing next to him, assuring him that he was speaking on behalf of all the mobilized troops.

Leshkov then blows cigarette smoke in the officer's face, after which the officer pushes him, and Leshkov pushes him back.

Leshkov was arrested shortly after the incident.

Despite Leshkov pleading not guilty, the Odintsovo Garrison military court found Leshkov guilty of beating a superior during mobilization, TASS reported on Wednesday, citing the court's press service. 

New legislation introduced just days before the Kremlin announced its partial mobilization in September 2022 made such offenses punishable by between five and 15 years in jail.

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