Russian Defense Ministry ready to install military police to tackle hazing

MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry promised to introduce by the end of the year a special military police division in the national armed forces to uproot hazing practices and thefts.

“I am ready to sign the necessary document in the near future,” Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said, adding that Major General Sergei Surovkin, who currently heads Russia’s Central Military District’s Staff, will take charge of the new structure.

The ministry used the experience of foreign countries while developing the concept of the introduction of military police in the armed forces.

Military police are generally perceived as being responsible for policing military facilities, enforcing military discipline, and investigating crimes in the military.

Russian media earlier reported that some 20,000 personnel would be involved, the majority of them reservists.

Some experts are skeptical that military police alone will be able to do much to stop abuse in the Russian Armed Forces without effective, far-reaching reforms, including the transition from a draft to a professional force, as well as the establishment of civil control over the military.

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