A Russian conscript has been diagnosed with an advanced stage bone cancer four months into his military service, prompting allegations that doctors failed to establish his health condition during conscription, rights activists said.
Marat Tuzbakov, 20, joined a paratroopers unit near the city of Samara in the Volga region in December last year. During a medical examination, he complained of regular pains in his shoulder and hip, but was nevertheless declared fit enough to serve in the armed forces.
Once in the army, Tuzbakov was treated for a dislocated shoulder, Anna Shityakova, the head of the Soldiers Brotherhood non-governmental organization told RIA Novosti. He was only admitted to the hospital four months later, after his arms went numb during parachute jumping exercises, she said.
Doctors at Burdenko Hospital, Moscow’s main military clinic where the soldier was treated, diagnosed him with bone cancer in its fourth stage. The young man is believed to have suffered from the disease for about two years.
Tuzbakov’s relatives are preparing to file a lawsuit against the local military conscription commission which they say should have prevented the young man from joining the military.
The Military Prosecutor’s Office in the Central Military District has launched an investigation into the case.
Russia’s 1-million-strong armed forces still largely rely on conscription, and all men between the ages of 18 and 27 are obliged by law to perform one year of military service. Every year, tens of thousands of young men dodge being drafted into the military, which is infamous for its violent hazing and shoddy living conditions, by bribing doctors to forge health certificates.