Russia probes reports of soldiers starving

Moscow, Feb 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian military has launched a probe into media reports that soldiers and officers based on the Kuril islands in the country's far east were left to starve after being given rotten food.

The Eastern Military District Prosecutors' Office, with the Military Prosecutor's Office of Goryachiye Klyuchi garrison, has launched a check into foods supplies at the military unit on the Island of Kunashir, an official said.

Recent media reports claimed soldiers and officers in a military unit on the Kuril islands were fed food containing worms, forcing them to go hungry.

The reports were denied by Eastern Military District spokesman Col. Alexander Gordeyev.

The Main Military Prosecutor's Office said prosecutors would "examine all the circumstances, including the quality of food supplies, cooking, drinking water and compliance with sanitary requirements".

Russia maintains garrisons on the Kurils, which are the subject of a territorial dispute with neighbouring Japan, which calls the islands the Northern Territories.

The islands were occupied by Soviet forces in August 1945 at the end of World War II.

Scandals surrounding living conditions and poor food in the Russian Army have been frequently reported in the last two decades.

In July 2010, Kommersant newspaper reported 1,000 tonnes of dog food had been discovered in an army food depot, which was being fed to soldiers, along with products that were beyond their shelf-life.

--IANS/RIA Novosti



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