2010/01/20 "New Year Brings First Loss…"
  • Press Release No. 01/1269
  • 20/01/2010

Death does not care about days off or holidays. While most of the people in Russia were celebrating the New Year 2010, families of servicemen started receiving "new" death notices... Coming back to office of the Foundation after the winter holidays (despite the total lack of financing we still continue our work, as we understand that the families of the deceased servicemen have nowhere else to go in these most terrible of circumstances), we were feeling bitterness as we were looking through the received mail - apart from the new year post cards from our clients and colleagues we also received the messages of the newly deceased...

Here is the letter that the MOTHER'S RIGHT Foundation received from Natalia Mikhailovna from Novosibirskaya Oblast:

"... Can you please help me confirm the fact of fulfillment of the responsibilities under the military service by my son Roman between January 4th and 5th, 2010? About the death of my son I learned from the commander of his detachment on 6 January 2010. He called me directly, bypassing the military registration and enlistment office. He told me that on the night of January 4th and 5th my son committed suicide by hanging himself. Later, on 8 January 2010, he told me that my son had shot himself with a hunting rifle while at his fellow serviceman's apartment (...)

My son, born in 1988, was conscripted to serve in the Russian Army on 12 June of 2006. On 12 May 2008 he signed a contract to serve for three more years. In December 2009, Roman decided to cancel the contract because of my health problems. At the time I was in hospital with the diagnosis of stenocardia, fibrillation and heart disease. I have a dependent - my 7 year old daughter. My son was supporting me both psychologically and financially by sending me money every month. Three years ago I became a widow, and Roman was giving me all the hope and support. Even though we were so far away from each other, we always kept in touch via the phone calls, and we would always discuss which decisions to take in this or that situation. Roman would very openly speak to me about his service. In December his request for dismissal was rejected and returned to him. As he was told, the request was not written in a proper way. Before that he had a discussion about the possibility of his dismissal with his warrant officer P., who told Roman that he would have to serve the full term of the contract and he would not sign the request. Roman was planning to personally submit the request to the detachment's headquarters in Ussuriysk after the holidays, on January 2010.  

On 2 January 2010, after having been relieved from duty, warrant officer P. took Roman to his house, as P. and his wife were going fishing for 3 days, and Roman was supposed to stay at P.'s house by himself, stoking the stove and looking after the house. (During the time at the P.'s house Roman and me constantly kept in touch via the phone). Is it provided anywhere in the Military Charter, that the soldiers can be used for personal services? Roman mentioned to me several times that it was a common practice that he and other soldiers had to do all kinds of work at the P's house.

The last call that I received from my son was on 4 January 2010 around 8 pm, Novosibirsk time. (...) On the next day, January 5th, I was sending text messages to him and was calling his phone, but nobody would pick up, though I could hear signal coming through. Then at 6 pm of that day his phone was turned off. (...) On 10 January 2010 at 6 am in the morning, the chief enlistment officer received a call on his mobile phone from the commander of the detachment (...). The commander told the chief enlistment officer that my son was dismissed from military service on 27 December 2009 following his request and all the relevant payments were processed on the same day. But my son would always send me the money that he would receive every month on his account. On 4 January 2010 he only had 8000 rubles on his account. So there was no additional money transferred to his account. Moreover, nobody could explain to me, how it was possible that, having been dismissed from service, Roman was still on duty: he was on duty both on 28th and 30th of December, 2009, and then on the 1st of January 2010??? (...) In the end the chief enlistment officer refused to have the body of my son delivered from the railway station to our home...

I do not believe that Roman could commit suicide. He did not drink much alcohol, he would always stand up for his fellow soldiers and he was well respected among them. Please help me find out the truth and find justice!"