‘He's torturing people': Video shows Russian troops being stripped naked and forced to pluck grass
- A new video purports to show a Russian military brigade commander hazing Russian soldiers.
- The troops in the video are stripped naked and forced to pluck grass and hit with batons.
A newly surfaced video appears to show a Russian brigade commander stripping soldiers nude and beating them as part of a hazing ritual that shocked even troops accustomed to the harsh and cruel treatment in Russia's military.
According to WarTranslated, a blogger covering the Ukraine war, a video shared on Thursday shows an officer of Russia's 4th Tank Division, near Moscow, forcing nude soldiers to pluck grass. Soldiers can be heard narrating the video, criticizing the hazing — a commonplace experience for Russian conscripts.
The video was shared by an Estonian blogger based in London who covers the war in Ukraine. It was originally shared by Russian outlet Mobilization News, which said that it was unclear when the video was taken.
"They called the military police and stripped the men naked," one soldier says in the recording, per a translation by WarTranslated. "People are furious that he's torturing people."
"Fuck that guy," a soldier adds.
The building in front of which the troops were hazed and the drilling grounds shown nearby are consistent with the 4th Guards Tank Division's base in Naro-Fominsk, outside of Moscow. This division has suffered heavy losses in Ukraine.
Insider could not confirm when the video was filmed.
Hazing within the Russian military has a deep and, at times, fatal history.
Also known as dedovshchina, the treatment is usually applied to lower-ranking soldiers and has made it harder for the Russian military to recruit young men who fear they may be demeaned or injured by fellow Russians.
The practice has been around for centuries, according to The Moscow Times, and the Russian government passed a series of reforms in 2008 aimed at eradicating the practice.
In the video posted on Thursday, soldiers narrating the video said they were approaching their limit with the behavior.
"They'll get a mutiny if they keep going that way," a soldier narrating the video says, per WarTranslated. "Everyone has a limit."
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