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Mass shooting at Russian military base in Siberia kills 8

Russian soldiers march through Moscow's Red Square, Monday, May 9, 2005, during a parade commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II. (White House photo by Eric Draper/Released)
October 25, 2019

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Two Russian officers and six more enlisted members have been killed at a military base in Siberia after a shooting spree.

Private Ramil Shamsutdinov, a member of Unit 54160, is suspected in the attack during a change in a guard shift. The soldier has been detained, according to CNN’s Moscow Bureau. The attack occurred around 6:20 p.m. at a military outpost near the Siberian city of Chita.

The Russian Defense Ministry said eight Russian military service members were killed at the outset of the attack, and two more military personnel were wounded and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov reportedly appointed a commission to fly to the scene of the shooting and investigate the attack.

Shamsutdinov is a Russian military conscript, according to BBC.

Russia requires mandatory military service for all male citizens between the ages of 18-27. Russian men typically serve a 12-month conscription period after which they may sign on and continue to serve with the Russian military in a professional capacity.

The attacker was reportedly targeting his victims with shots to the head.

A motive for the attack remains unclear, but the Russian military has faced hazing scandals in the mid-2000s under the violent practice of “dedovshchina” which is used to target new conscripts to the Russian military. Russian military leaders say they have made efforts to correct against the bullying scandals in recent years.

In February, Russian lawmakers did approve a ban on smartphones and tablets in Russian military bases. Those lawmakers cited concerns for protecting secretive information about Russian military personnel and equipment, though bullying could still be a concern to Russian military officials as rights groups have cited video and photographic proof of hazing incidents obtained online.

Unit No. 54160 is stationed near the village of Gorny, just outside Chita.

The military unit houses an artillery and missile brigade. The unit’s missile brigade reportedly controls several nuclear capable Iskander missiles.