RIGHTS GROUP SAYS CONSCRIPTS FORCED INTO PROSTITUTION.
Activists with the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers said in St. Petersburg on February 12 that an unspecified number of male soldiers there contend they were forced into prostitution by senior officers, "The Moscow Times" of February 13 and news.ru reported. The daily added that the list of clients whom the young men were given include an unnamed retired general in the Federal Security Service (FSB) and a former colonel. The activists said that the young men were beaten if they did not comply. Military prosecutors said they are investigating the allegations. Interior Ministry spokesman Vasily Panchenkov rejected the charges, saying that the activists' aim was not to "defend the rights of military personnel but to discredit the armed services." This is not the first time in post-Soviet Russia that accusations of forced prostitution of conscripts have been made.