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Officers responsible for 25% of crimes by Russian Armed Forces

MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - One in four crimes involving the Armed Forces and other security departments in Russia was committed by officers last year causing over 2 billion rubles ($55.8 million) in losses, the chief military prosecutor said on Wednesday.

"Last year so called "officer" crime rose by a third, officers committed every fourth crime, with more than two-thirds involving corruption. The majority of these were offenses involving military property, embezzlement, bribery and forgery...," Sergei Fridinsky said.

Over 20,000 crimes, involving Russia's Armed Forces, Interior Troops, Emergency Situations Ministry and Federal Border Service, were recorded by military prosecutors last year.

Around 500 Russian officers were brought to trial for corruption, Fridinsky said.

Another important problem in the Russian Armed Forces is suicide. Some 20 people were convicted last year for actions which led to Russian service personnel committing suicide. The Russian Soldiers' Mothers Committee has estimated that around 1,000 soldiers die every year as a result of non-combat incidents.

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