The Wrongs of Passage:
Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of New Recruits in the Russian Armed Forces

Related Material

- Download PDF file of this report
   88 pages, 602 Kb

- Purchase this report online

- Related report
To Serve Without Health?
Inadequate Nutrition and Health Care in the Russian Armed Forces

- More on human rights in Russia

- Response of the Russian Ministry of Defense to the Human Rights Watch report “Wrongs of Passage.”


A gruesome case of hazing on December 31, 2005, which resulted in a conscript needing to have his legs and genitals amputated, once again pushed violent hazing in Russia’s military into the spotlight. The Ministry of Defense belatedly took steps to address this case, but it maintains that violent hazing is not a widespread problem in Russia’s military. In fact, though, the practice of hazing has resulted in the death of dozens of young soldiers every year, and serious damage to the physical and mental health of thousands of others.


Executive Summary

Background: The Story of One Conscript

Initiation Practices and Human Rights

Dedovshchina Abuses: An Overview

The Consequences of Dedovshchina

Dedovshchina and the Role of Officers




Vol. 16, No. 8(D)   October 2004