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Russia Jails Soldier 23 Years for Killing Fellow Servicemen in Drunken Grenade Blast

Artem Geodakyan / TASS

A Russian military court has sentenced a mobilized soldier to 23 years in prison for killing his fellow servicemen with a grenade while under the influence of alcohol, the state-run news agency TASS reported Wednesday.

Junior Sergeant Dmitry Lobovikov was said to be intoxicated when he threw a live grenade inside a sleeping quarter in southwestern Russia’s Belgorod region in January 2023. At least seven soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded in the explosion and subsequent fire.

Moscow’s Second Western Military Garrison Court found Lobovikov guilty of murder, illegal storage of explosives and property damage, according to TASS. The news agency said the jury presiding over the case believed the defendant “deserved leniency.”

“He was sentenced to 23 years in a high-security prison colony, fined 70,000 rubles [$790] and stripped of his rank,” a court spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Prosecutors had requested a 24-year prison sentence for Lobovikov. His attorneys can appeal Wednesday’s sentencing before it enters into force. 

Lobikov asked to be acquitted during the trial, with TASS reporting that the mobilized soldier said he had “no intention of killing his comrades” and blamed “stupidity and alcohol” for his actions.

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