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Russian army
accused of gay prostitution

Russian army
accused of gay prostitution

Following recent news that Russia may reinvigorate Soviet law by jailing gays, a new report finds that young recruits in the Russian army are being forced into prostitution.

The Gazeta newspaper reported that soldiers from an army base in St. Petersburg are routinely being pimped by senior officials, who then force them to turn over the earnings. Clients allegedly include a former general of FSB, Russia's intelligence agency.

Anonymous soldiers told Gazeta that they were violently tortured and beaten by senior officers as a means to force them into prostitution. Last year a 19-year-old recruit was reportedly beaten so badly that his genitals and legs had to be amputated.

The Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia, a rights group speaking on behalf of soldiers, said that clients arrived at the base late at night to avoid recognition. Soldiers were forced into cars and often would be gone all night.

"The officers would beat us on the arms and legs. We were sent out to the park to earn money," one solider told the newspaper. "I was tortured with electric shocks."

The officers allegedly pasted a client list to successors, suggesting that the practice was long-held tradition. Soldiers were paid about $50 on average for each client, most of which went back to the officers.

Defense minister Sergei Ivanov, rumored as a potential successor to President Vladimir Putin, has pledged an investigation. (Hassan Mirza, Gay.com/U.K.)

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