On Sakhalin, a court sentenced more than 30 Russian servicemen to fines for their attempts to bribe a local official to be able to go to serve in Syria, The Kommersant newspaper reports with reference to an anonymous source.
Privates and sergeants paid 20,000 rubles ($280) for the trip, while officers and warrant officers - 30-40 thousand rubles ($420-$560). The servicemen wired the money to lawyer Ivan Zharkov, who worked as a legal advise at local military units. Zharkov assured the servicemen that he could arrange their trips to Syria with the help of his acquaintances in the personnel department of the Eastern Military District. The servicemen who agreed to go on such an adventure, agreed to pay the lawyer for his services.
For their service in Syria, the military would receive the status of a veteran of hostilities that also includes monthly allowance for life, additional leave and increased salary.
However, none of the servicemen went to Syria - they went on trial instead. Zharkov, who had previously been convicted of similar crimes, was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to a restriction in military service for one year and six months, whereas the servicemen were sentenced to fines ranging from 30 to 90 thousand rubles for bribing.