This petition is about ending dedovschina, a brutal system of military hazing in Russia that has been estimated to cost 5,000 lives a year.
In one recent case, a first-year recruit was made to stand for three hours with his hands tied behind his back while he was being beaten with clubs. This rendered him a paraplegiac eunuch. In most cases, the murders and the brutality are not prosecuted.
Since dedovschina focuses especially upon people who are cerebral rather than brutal, the people who die in it are Russia's best minds. Many others flee to other countries in order to escape it. Rather than strengthening anyone, dedovschina weakens the country as it loses its best potential contributors - either to death by dedovschina or to flight abroad.
We put it forth that dedovschina should not be tolerated. Russia can be a major military power without dedovschina. And such abuses not only weaken Russia by causing brain drain but also give it an ugly reputation abroad.
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