Russian soldiers fed dog food to save money
Published 20/05/2011 | 05:00
Russian troops were fed dog food earlier this year to save money, a whistleblower revealed yesterday.
Igor Matveyev, a former major, said officers tried to cover up the scandal and other alleged wrongdoings at the Interior Ministry troop base where he served in Vladivostok, Russia.
Mr Matveyev, who served in Russia's wars against Chechen separatists in the 1990s, was sacked after posting a video on the internet this month alleging widespread corruption in the ministry.
"It's embarrassing to say, but soldiers here were fed dog food as stew," Mr Matveyev said.
He added that dog food labels were covered up with others reading "premium-quality beef".
The Interior Ministry troop command was cited by Russian agencies as saying that a number of the incidents Mr Matveyev described had occurred and that an investigation had been started.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said rampant corruption in the ranks is one of the biggest problems facing the country's security forces.
The sacked major also claimed that 18 illegal migrant labourers were housed at the Vladivostok base, 4,000km east of Moscow, for a month-and-a-half and were used for clean-up and construction jobs.
"They were Koreans or Chinese, I don't know because they did not have any documents," he said.
He also said that property on the base had been sold without permission to make money for the officers.