DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, Aug. 26 (UPI) — A military court in Russia on Wednesday sentenced deputy platoon commander Fyodor Basimov and former military unit commander Ildar Sakhapov to lengthy prison terms for the murder of a 36-year-old Tajik taxi driver. Basimov received 17 years in prison while Sakhapov got a 13-year sentence.
The two men had been arrested in August 2014 after the 36-year-old taxi driver, Rahimjon Teshaboev, was found near the capital of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. An autopsy revealed that Teshaboev was severely beaten before his throat was slashed, Radio Free Europe reported.
Tension has been increasingly high between local Tajiks and Russian military personnel in the former Soviet republic in recent weeks. About 7,000 troops from Russia’s 201st Motor Rifle Division are stationed at a base in Tajikistan.
A Russian soldier was accused Friday of carrying out a violent attack, which left another Tajik taxi driver with multiple stab wounds to the abdomen. On July 28, a street fight broke out near a Russian military base in Kulob, leaving several Tajik men injured.
“Local men asked the soldiers to return to their base but the Russians didn’t listen and argued with them,” Jamshed, a Kulob resident told Radio Free Europe. “The scuffle broke out and several other soldiers came from the military base to help their comrades.”
Also on Wednesday, Russia’s Investigative Committee said a serviceman armed with an automatic rifle shot and killed two soldiers and an officer at a military field camp near Kostroma — the capital city of Kostroma Oblast. The man then committed suicide.
A criminal case has been opened against the assailant, and investigation results indicate that he may have been guided by personal motives, Russia Today reported.