Russia: August 26, 2001

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Yesterday, there was a mass desertion of 589th Motorized division. By today, 62 of the deserters had been captured, but eleven are still on the loose. This is the largest desertion from a Russian military unit since early in World War II (60 years ago.) Poor leadership, lax discipline and bad living conditions have led to an increase in desertion. In Chechnya, the proliferation of mines and trigger happy troops and rebels has brought farming to a halt in many areas.