Representational image showing two Russian soldiers Photograph:( Twitter )
The shooting was sparked when an altercation broke out between the soldier and an officer during an inspection
A Russian serviceman killed three colleagues in a shooting Monday on a base near the southern city of Voronezh, news agencies reported citing the military.
"Three servicemen sustained lethal injuries as a result of the attack," Russia's Western Military District said in a statement carried by Interfax.
"The command of the military unit, acting together with law enforcement agencies, is working to track down and detain the assailant," it added.
The statement said the attack began in the early hours of Monday.
An unnamed Interfax source said the shooting was sparked when an altercation broke out between the soldier and an officer during an inspection.
The soldier "grabbed a handgun" from the officer's holster and fired, the source said, with three colleagues reported dead.
Authorities on the military base were negotiating with the suspect who had locked himself in a building, Interfax reported.
Shootings at military facilities in Russia are not uncommon and rights groups have sounded the alarm over brutal hazing rituals that were routine in the 1990s but have improved in recent years.
In October last year, a Russian soldier opened fire on troops at a military base in Siberia, killing eight and injuring two in an attack he blamed on hazing that made his life "hell".
Military service is compulsory in Russia for men aged between 18 and 27, but many people use loopholes to evade conscription.