- Press Release No. 08/1442
TODAY, January 30, the Mother's Right Foundation had another victory in the Vidnoye Town Court, Moscow Region: we won a lawsuit filed on behalf of the mother of a dead serviceman, Natalia Valentinovna Usacheva, from the Tver Region. Her son, Alexander Usachev (b. 1991), was called up to military service on November 6, 2009, and served in M.U. 61899, Moscow Region. On 29 March, 2010 he died while standing guard. According to the results of the investigation, he was driven to death by the criminal actions of his immediate commander, junior lieutenant Frisen. The foundation participated in the trial from the very beginning. On November 18, 2010 Frizen was charged under: Art. 290, s.2, of the RF Criminal Code (bribing by an official) for the proven facts of taking bribes for leave-passes; Art. 286, s. 3, p. "c" (abuse of authority resulting in grave consequences). The 235th Garrison Court sentenced him to 4.5 years in colony of general regime. (The Mother's Right Foundation represented the interests of Natalia Valentinovna Usacheva in the trial.) This time, the foundation filed a lawsuit for compensation for moral damage.
The interests of the mother of the deceased were represented by Tatiana Sladkova, lawyer of the MOTHER`S RIGHT foundation. The previous hearings were held on October 7, 2011; November 18 and 28, 2011.
The lawyer stated the foundation's position: "The death of Natalia Valentinovna's son led to pain and suffering. She is doomed to feel pain for the rest of her life. As a result of her son's death, her health worsened. Besides, the commanding officers of M.U. 61899 gave her much trouble and pain: for five months they were failing to draw up a death certificate and as a result she was not able to receive compensation and insurance money. Several times M.U. 61899 sent her certificates where her husband's name was mentioned instead of her son's."
To confirm her position, the foundation's lawyer presented the letter written by Natalia Valentinovna Usacheva.
"My son Alexander joined the army on November 5, 2009, and I was proud of him because he defended our motherland. He did not try to escape call-up. I did not worry about him, I wanted him to serve a term and enter a college. Sasha's dream was to work in the police, and it's possible to get job there only after the service in the army. His dream will never come true. On March 29, 2010 our son died in military service. That was the worst day of my life. A year has passed since son's death but I have a feeling that it happened just yesterday. There's no words to express feelings when you lose your child.
My Sasha died when he was 18. He was healthy and beautiful. He expected to live a happy life. His dreams won't come true. Day by day I would grieve and cry.
Many times I was tormented by the commanding officers of M.U. 61899 where my son had served. They did not help us; instead they were delaying for five months before sending us the necessary documents. We could not order a grave monument. Four times they sent us a document which read that it was my husband, not my son, who died on March 29, 2010. Every time I received a wrong certificate, I called to Colonel Dubachev, Deputy Commander of M.U. 61899, and asked to send me a correct certificate. But he would simply say that those who had drawn up the document were just clumsy. More than once I visited the military commissariat which made inquiries to M.U. 61899, but all the same they send me a death certificate on the death of my husband. (...) I cry every time when I see guys in military uniform because I remember my son. He was kind to us: he did not tell us that he was bullied, that their officer - lieutenant Frisen - extorted money from him and other soldiers. I had heard about hazing in the army before, but the situation in M.U. 61899 appeared to be worse: unit officers bullied and humiliated soldiers... (...)
On March 30, 2010 my relatives and I arrived at M.U. 61899 to know about what had happened to my son. Colonel Dubachev said that they would transport my son's body in a zinc coffin. I asked, ‘Why are you going to transport Sasha's body in a closed coffin?" He answered that Sasha's head was smashed and his brains were scattered about - 15 meters from his body. He told that to me, his mother... After he sais that, I fainted.
The prosecutors found out that the military unit was in disorder. The commanding officers did not care about discipline, and unit officers extorted money from our children. They say that time assuages, but I think it's not true. I don't feel it like that. I gave birth to my son not for having him killed and returned in a coffin."
The lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation demanded that the Ministry of Defense pay the soldier's mother compensation for moral damage caused by her son's death, as well as compensation for material damage.
The Ministry of Defense and M.U. 61899 ignored the hearing.
After hearing the parties and considering the case materials, Judge Elena Alexandrovna Gomoreva passed a decision that obliged the Ministry of Defense to pay the mother of the deceased 1,000,000 rubles as compensation for moral damage caused by her son's death. The defendant is also obliged to pay over 50,000 rubles as compensation for material damage.