The Russian army said that a soldier killed three of his colleagues at an air base located near the southern city of Voronezh, and at least another soldier was wounded in the accident.
There were reports that the attacker used a weapon that he had seized from an officer after an altercation between the two.
“Three soldiers were wounded and died as a result of the attack,” the Russian Western Military District said in a statement carried by the Interfax news agency.
She added that “the military unit command, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, is working to track down and arrest the attacker.”
The statement said that the attack began in the early hours of Monday morning, and an unnamed source told Interfax that the shooting occurred when an altercation broke out between the soldier and an officer during a search tour.
The source said that the soldier “grabbed a pistol” from the officer’s holster and opened fire, killing three of his colleagues.
Interfax reported that the authorities at the military base were negotiating with the suspect, who confined himself in a building.
Shooting at Russian military installations is not uncommon, as human rights groups have raised the alarm about the brutal abuse practices that were “routinely” practiced against soldiers in the 1990s, but things have apparently improved in recent years.
And in October last year, a Russian soldier opened fire on soldiers at a military base in Siberia, killing eight and wounding two in an attack the soldier blamed for harassment that made his life “hell”.
Military service is mandatory in Russia for men between the ages of 18 and 27, but many people resort to loopholes in order to evade conscription.