2011/09/16 "4 Years for ‘Buckle Hazing’ "
  • Press Release No. 67/1403
  • 16/09/2011

On September 16, the Kyakhta Garrison Court considered the case of Dmitry Dedyukhin (b. 1992) who died in the army. The Mother's Right Foundation represented the interests of Alexander Pavlovich Dedyukhin, father of the dead soldier.  On November 9, 2010 Dmitry was called up to military service from the Sverdlov Region. He served in M.U. 69647, Kyakhta, Republic of Buryatia, and died there on January 30, 2011. It was found out that he had been driven to suicide by the criminal actions of one of his fellow servicemen, Rayan Kusyukbayev. The latter was charged under Article 335, Section 3, of the RF CC (abuse of authority resulting in grave consequences). Today the court issued a decision in the case.

From the case materials: "During the period January 8 - January 29, 2011, Kusyukbayev sought to demonstrate his superiority over Dedyukhin and to break the latter's will; he humiliated Dedyukhin before his fellow servicemen and bullied him.... On January 8, 2011, he hit Dedyukhin in the back of the head and the shoulder and insulted him. On January 20, 2011 Kusyukbayev hit D.A. Dedyukhin in the shoulder and humiliated him..." Such was Dmitry Dedyukhin's service in the army before Kusyukbayev's ‘little trial' (that's how the latter described his actions during the investigation). On January 29, 2011 he took away Dmitry's green belt buckle and gave him a brushed white one. At M.U. 69647 this hazing rite is used to let a soldier down. The same rite is used at penitentiary.  The real power at the unit is in the hands of such kusyukbayevs. Kusyukbayev told, "A white belt buckle means a lower status of a soldier who has to clean toilets and is deprived of any authority". On January 30, 2011, after Kusyukbayev's ‘little trial', Dmitry was found in a loop.

During the previous hearings held on June 23 and 27, 2011 (see press releases: No. 43/1379 of 23.06.2011 and No. 44/1380 of 27.06.2011), the witnesses in the case confirmed that the so-called belt buckle rite was extremely humiliating. The court appointed State Medicolegal Center No. 80 to give a posthumous psychiatric conclusion. Earlier, the centre's experts confirmed that Dmirty Dedyukhin's death had been caused by Kusyukbayev's actions. After receiving the results of the additional investigation, the court scheduled the next hearing for September 15. The additional investigation confirmed the results of the first one: Dmitry did not suffer from any psychiatric ailment, and his death was the result of hazing; it was caused directly from Kusyukbayev's actions.

Today, the court heard the parties and then issued a decision. Justice Colonel Alexander Anatolievich Moiseyev, Kyakhta Garrison Prosecutor, asked the court to find the defendant guilty on all charges and to sentence him to 5 years in a colony of general regime.

The interests of the father of the deceased were represented by Tatiana Sladkova, lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation. She emphasized that the court had found the defendant guilty on all charges and asked to sentence him to 10 years of imprisonment, i.e. maximum penalty under Article 335, Section 3, of the RF CC. The lawyer stated the position of the Mother's Right Foundation: the crime resulted from the negligence on part of the commanding officers of M.U. 69647 who had done nothing to improve a psychological environment among the soldiers. Tatiana Sladkova stressed the damage caused to Dmitry's family members: his underage sister, grandmother and disabled father had lost their breadwinner.

Ms. Tsyrenova, who represented Kusyukbayev's interests, asked the court to acquit the defendant on the ground that according to Kusyukbayev and Dedyukhin's fellow servicemen, their relations had been ‘within the traditional limits'.

The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer expressed her indignation: "If hazing is ‘within the traditional limits', it means that it is deeply rooted in Kyakhta." She asked the court to issue a decision about the commanding officers of M.U. 69647.

After discussion, judge Roman Ivanovich Kiforenko announced a decision: Kusyukbayev was found guilty under Article 335, Section 3, of the RF CC (hazing with grave consequences) and sentenced to 4 (four) years in colony of general regime.