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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian military personnel act to stop heat cutoff

RIA Novosti

27/01/2009 10:37 KHABAROVSK, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military personnel in the Far East city of Khabarovsk have prevented local utility officers from cutting off their base's heating supply over payment arrears, a deputy unit commander said on Tuesday.

The personnel in question are on round-the-clock duty at a radar base that monitors part of the country's air space in Russia's Far East. The brigade in Khabarovsk is responsible for the Khabarovsk Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and the Amur Region, an area totaling some 1.19 million square kilometers.

"We didn't allow in the utility officers who came to cut us off over debts, and the hatchway to the faucets has been fenced off by servicemen and special barriers," Viktor Mamelyuk said.

He said the cutoff would have left the barracks, the medical unit, the mess, the administrative building and the vehicle base without heating. A request has been made for the military and civilian prosecutor's offices to look into the problem.

"The brigade cannot pay its debts, because it is the Defense Ministry that makes payments. Besides, a presidential order prohibits units on combat duty from being cut off from energy and heating supply," the deputy commander said.

A Khabarovsk heating network company representative said the cutoff had been postponed until January 29 while military and energy officials attempted to resolve the issue. The representative did not specify the size of the debt.

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