Almost 1000 draftees from Leningrad Oblast have been hospitalized in less than two months, reports Ekho Moskvy. According to the radio station, most of the soldiers have been diagnosed with pneumonia.
There are no official statements about the apparent epidemic. Ekho Moskvy says that the sick soldiers are brought to the hospital in Saint Petersburg in other cars than ambulances in order to hide the number of infections. The report says that the sick soldiers come from at least five different military installations in Leningrad Oblast.
According to official statistics, only three persons were hospitalized with pneumonia in this area during the January holidays, namely two children and an elderly man.
The Russian military have with some success improved the image of military service over the last years. Earlier there were many reports of different kinds of abuse or health risks associated with conscription service, but that has been greatly improved. If true, the story about an epidemic of pneumonia among conscripts would be a setback in the attempts to improve the status of military service.