Strong armies of autocracies – from Satan with love. Part 1. Asylum

I myself served in the Russian army, so I know well what I am talking about. However, I will tell you my story later. This article, using the example of the story of private Ramil Shamsutdinov, will tell you what is the service in the Russian army like. Special thanks to “”

Military unit No. 54160 is located in the village of Gorny, 65 kilometers from Chita. Here on October 25 one of the most notorious crimes of 2019 took place, which shows ta lot about the Russian army. Private Ramil Shamsutdinov shot his colleagues. Eight people were killed, two were injured. Shamsutdinov claims: he was pushed to extreme measures by bullying and hazing. Now the relationship between conscripts and officers in military unit No. 54160 has become the subject of a lawsuit.
It all happened on the territory of a building behind a metal fence. Here, on a large table, soldiers unload their weapons after bearing the guard.
Ramil Shamsutdinov stood at the table and pretended to take out cartridges while the others did it. The officers were closest to Shamsutdinov. At 18:20 local time, he turned to them – and opened fire. The chief of the detachment was killed first, and the rest did not manage to flee. Later, the commission will find out: some soldiers raised their hands, others were hiding, but no one escaped.
Later, the soldiers of the military police arrived at the scene of the emergency: they surrounded the shooter and demanded to surrender. Shamsutdinov threw down his weapon. Eight people died, two more were hospitalized.

Ramil Shamsutdinov was drafted into the army on July 4, 2019, and by the time of the tragedy he was considered “young” (rookie). According to those who knew him before, he never had any aggressive or socially dangerous behavior. They still do not understand how such a thing could happen to Ramil, whose family they know well. The Shamsutdinovs have always been in good standing and have never had problems with law enforcement.
His father himself served in the army for 5 years, then served in the police and fire brigade.
At the age of 13, Ramil lost his mother. The boy was raised alone by his father and two older brothers. Ramil liked sports and achieved special success in sambo: he performed at regional competitions and won prizes.
When the time came to join the army, Ramil was very happy. According to his father, Ramil was quickly assigned and sent to military unit No. 54160. At first he really liked it there, he sent his father a photo in a blue uniform and proudly wrote that he would serve in the aerospace forces. Ramil called up with his father only on weekends (on weekdays it is forbidden by the unit’s charter): his mood was joyful, “very optimistic.” The soldier was well-fed, he had interesting activities – in particular, a lot of shooting training. It seemed that Ramil Shamsutdinov had great prospects for a military career ahead … But he suddenly disappeared for a whole month.
The father did not receive calls from his son until the moment when Ramil called with a request to send him money. According to his father, his son went to the army with an old push-button phone. When his father asked what was wrong with the old device, the son hesitantly explained that he accidentally broke it and needed to buy a new one, but there was not enough money, 1,500 rubles. It didn’t work out quickly: it turned out that Ramil was using a bank card, the office of which did not work that day. But the very next day Shamsutdinov called his father and in an agitated voice asked why he had not yet transferred the money.
This haste surprised the father, and he explained the situation to his son. Then Ramil gave his father the details of a certain Nikolai, supposedly his friend, and asked to transfer money to his account. Soon, the father complied with the request of his son, and they did not call again.
A week later, a journalist from Moscow called Ramil’s father. It was from her that he learned about what had happened. The son was never given the right to a phone call.
According to Salimchan Shamsutdinov, when he and his son met after the tragedy, he looked lost and greatly changed. He did not immediately recognize his son. At home, his son was completely different. Tall, strong … And here he was thin, some kind of small, as if his growth had become less. He said that he could not stand the bullying and was very sorry for the guys whom he accidentally killed. He said that it was dark, he didn’t want to kill them. They were also bullied. He especially felt sorry for one guy — the countryman.
Immediately after the tragedy in unit No. 54160, a check began there. Simultaneously with the study of the biography and psyche of Ramil Shamsutdinov, military investigators began to study the situation in the military unit, trying to find out if there were any facts of bullying.
In November 2019, Shamsutdinov and several of his colleagues were recognized as victims under Article 335 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Violation of the statutory rules of relations between servicemen”), this case was separated into a separate proceeding from the main case on charges of Shamsutdinov in a mass execution.
The only accused was Private Mukhatov, whose actions are a revealed case of hazing in unit No. 54160
According to the materials of this case, on September 15, 2019 (more than a month before the execution) Private Mukhatov conducted a sports training session with recruits. He did this by order of the sergeant of the security company Kovalev, who died on October 25 in the shooting. Wanting to make fun of it, Mukhatov began to “overtrain” the soldiers.
Mukhatov demanded that these persons perform exercises not for the physical training, they were clearly aimed not at developing physical qualities, but at mockery and humiliation of honor and dignity. Ruslan Mukhatov first forced the fighters to pull themselves up. But two of them coped poorly. Then the soldiers received an order to do push-ups, while the exercises alternated without interruption. After that, Mukhatov ordered everyone to switch to the hard exercise “catching butterflies”: jumping out of the “squat” position with a clap of hands overhead. This was followed by the exercise “Marine Corps” – throwing out the legs, squatting. One of the soldiers had a tight leg: the guy fell and crumpled on the parade ground. Then the soldiers asked to give them a break – but Mukhatov was not satisfied: he was outraged by the “weakness” of the soldiers. The execution lasted at least 40 minutes.

Mukhatov began to punch the solders with “the elk”. This is an army punishment, during which the soldier is ordered to cover his forehead with crossed forearms, and then a direct blow is inflicted on them with a hand.
Another case of hazing, in which Mukhatov is accused, occurred on October 18 – a week before the shooting.
According to the testimony of a colleague, at about 12:00 Ramil Shamsutdinov invited him to leave the barracks for fresh air and smoke. Mukhatov heard the conversation of the soldiers, and when they left, ordered them to return to the barracks. Shamsutdinov was indignant and remained on the street. After 10 minutes, a colleague saw Shamsutdinov in the washroom, there were bloody abrasions on his right shin. Shamsutdinov did not tell what happened, but the private guessed that Mukhatov was involved.

Ramil Shamsutdinov’s lawyer Ruslan Nagiyev said that shortly before the tragedy, his client was subjected to bullying. According to Shamsutdinov, money was taken from him and other “young” soldiers, they were forced to wash toilets outside of the outfit, and convicts were established in the barracks, to which the officers turned a blind eye.
In particular, one of the officers mocked Ramil shortly before the execution, not allowing him to sleep. If a soldier fell asleep, he was kicked out to the parade ground and forced to do physical exercises, sometimes in a chemical protection suit. All this was done ostensibly in order to force the soldier to learn the charter. According to the lawyer, for three days Ramil slept no more than four hours, and two hours before the execution everything was like a fog for him and it was difficult for him to perceive the reality of what was happening.
Ramil Shamsutdinov himself, after the massacre, asked for forgiveness from the families of the victims. “I regret that I could not restrain myself and took an extreme step, but I had no other choice. I could not endure any more bullying at myself”, he wrote. According to him, he did not evade the draft and planned to link his life with the armed forces in the future, but “did not expect to get into such a hell, from which there is nowhere to escape and there is no one to complain to.” At some point, Shamsutdinov explains, his instinct for self-preservation worked.
If the court proves the fact of hazing in unit No. 54160, then this may affect the verdict in the criminal case of the shooting committed by Ramil Shamsutdinov.


Unit No. 54160 is a place of the maintenance and repair of both nuclear and other technical means. It reports directly to the 12th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for all Russian nuclear weapons. On its emblem there is an inscription – “Nuclear forces take care of Russia”. Ramil Shamsutdinov and his colleagues were engaged in the protection of the country’s nuclear forces.

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