Three soldiers were shot dead at an army base in the Voronezh region in western Russia. The attacker is a 20-year-old conscript, a soldier from one of the base’s squads named Anton Makarov.
Around 5 a.m. on Monday, he attacked and killed an officer with an ax, in order to seize his service weapon and open fire on other soldiers. “Two of them are dead, a third is injured” in addition to the officer killed, said the Investigation Committee.
“Anton Makarov did not leave the scene”
“The command of the military unit and the police are taking measures to find and arrest the aggressor”, indicated the press service of the Western military district, quoted by the Interfax agency. “According to preliminary data, Anton Makarov did not leave the premises” of the military base, indicated the Investigation Committee quoted by the Ria Novosti agency.
According to a source interviewed by Interfax, the shooting took place on the airfield “Baltimore” near Voronezh, in one of the administrative buildings of the base. Helicopters, drones, riot police and more than 100 members of the National Guard were mobilized to arrest the conscript, according to a source quoted by TASS.
The “hell” of hazing
In October 2019, a Russian conscript killed eight people while opening fire on a Siberian military base, then saying in an open letter that he acted because of the “hell” of hazing he was experiencing in the military.
Military service is compulsory in Russia and lasts for one year for men between the ages of 18 and 27, although a significant portion of the population escapes it through various means. Hazing was one of the biggest problems in the Russian military in the 1990s, although the situation has improved markedly in recent years. According to human rights NGOs, however, hazing rites remain frequent there.