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Russian Soldiers Convicted of Bribing Officer to Avoid Deployment – Kommersant

A Russian tank in Ukraine. Alexander Reka / TASS

Five current and former Russian soldiers have received varying sentences for bribing a superior officer in exchange for avoiding a second deployment in Ukraine, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

The unidentified officer was reportedly investigated for accepting the bribes, but the newspaper said it was unclear whether he stood trial, adding that he may have entered a plea bargain with the authorities. 

The Volgograd Garrison Military Court fined two of the unidentified soldiers and handed a suspended sentence to two others after state prosecutors had asked the judge to reduce their punishment, according to Kommersant.

Vladislav Kolganov, the only defendant mentioned by name, received two years in a penal colony and was fined 750,000 rubles ($8,300).

Kolganov’s attorney Yevgeny Vovk told Kommersant that his client, who plans to appeal the ruling, had received a draft deferment from the factory where he worked after returning from his first deployment. 

Vovk said he believes the four other soldiers are still enlisted in the military and taking part in combat operations.

Kommersant did not indicate when the five convicted soldiers were believed to have bribed the officer.

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