2008/12/09 "We Demand Responsibility from Commanding Officers!"

  • Press Release No. 134/1135
  • 09/12/2008

On December 11, the Eastern Siberia Military District Court, Chita City, considers the cassation appeal filed by the Mother's Right Foundation against the decision of the Bezrechnensky Garrison Court in the case of Nikolai Koloverin (b. 1989) from the Novosibirsk Region who died in the military. Nikolai was called up to military service in May 2008, and served in M.U. 52410, Baikal Region. On July 22, 2008 he died of cardiac arrest caused by a fatal punch to the chest delivered by a sergeant of the same unit, Alexander Baranov. Baranov was charged under Article 286, Section 3, Clauses ‘a' and ‘c', of the RF CC (exceeding of authority) and Article 111, Section 4, of the RF CC (intentionally caused damage to health resulting in death). On October 9, he was sentenced to 8 years in colony of strict regime. The prosecutor of the Siberia Military District, Sergei Anatolievich Nikulishchin, who participated in the trial stressed that such incidents were possible in M.U. 52410 because its servicemen didn't know the service regulations. Besides, according to the investigation, it was not the first case of hazing in the unit. Before Nikolai Koloverin's death, Sergeant Agenov was charged for hazing his subordinates. After the case of Agenov, the unit commanding officers received the prosecutor's decision and should have taken measures against hazing in the unit but nothing had been done. As a result, they got another case of hazing, and this time the outcome was fatal.

The criminal trial ended with Sergeant Baranov's severe penalty, but the commanding officers escaped punishment. Judge Azer Ismailovich Aliyev (who remembered his participation in the case of Argenov) dismissed the mother's claim for compensation for moral damage. It's a long time since the Mother's Right Foundation had a full dismissal of the claim for compensation for moral damage in such cases. After the speech of the commander of M.U. 52410, A.K. Kuandykov (he told that he did not know about hazing in the unit because he received his appointment not long ago), spoke the mother of the deceased, Larisa Nikolayevna Koloverina. She said, ‘I gave my son not to Baranov, but to the commanding officers of the unit. I, a disabled person, gave them my son, and they returned me a Zink coffin. Now they tell me that the state is not able to support me!' The house where Nikolai's mother lives is turning into ruins. Who will repair it? Judge Aliyev? Larisa Nikolayevna is a diabetic and needs insulin. Kolya was her support and hope. After school, he went to work to support his mother. He gave his paycard to his mother. He provided her with medicines. He had to wait in line to get insulin for her. Now, it's difficult for her to do all this on her own. The house is collapsing. Now, there's no one to repair it. Kolya wanted to repair it after the service. After her son's death, the mother suffers from mental and physical pain. It's obvious to everybody, but not to Judge Aliyev.

The Mother's Right Foundation filed a cassation appeal against the decision concerning compensation for moral damage. We demand that the guilty unit pay compensation (it's the only way to make the commanding officers liable for the serviceman's death). The court will also consider the cassation appeals filed by the two attorneys hired by Baranov. The interests of the mother of the deceased are represented by a lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation, Tatiana Sladkova. The hearing is scheduled for 10:00.