- Press Release No. 20/1543
Today, April 22, the Mother’s Right Foundation won a victory in the Meshchansky District Court, Moscow, which upheld a claim on behalf of Lidia Dmitrievna Vasilieva and Boris Ivanovich Vasiliev, the mother and stepfather of a Hero of Russia. The Moscow Military Commissariat denied the Vasilievs an increase in the size of their survivor’s pensions due to them under the law. The Meshchansky District Court, Moscow, supported the Mother’s Right Foundation’s position in the case. Thanks to the foundation’s victory, the parents of the Hero of Russia will start receiving higher survivor’s pensions. Also, the commissariat was ordered to pay arrears.
Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Anatolievich Vasiliev (b. 1962), graduated from the Supreme Soviet Military Command School, Moscow, in 1984. He served in different garrisons: in Chita, Vladimir, Noginsk, Germany. He served in both Chechen wars. During the First Chechen War, he saved a wounded serviceman who needed to be transported to a hospital immediately. The helicopter crew would refuse to: they were afraid of being shot down by Chechen militants. Vasiliev said, “I don’t know whether the militants will manage it, but if you take off without the guy I’ll shoot you down.” The wounded serviceman survived. Every year, he and his family visit Vasiliev’s grave. He says to his children, “You owe your life to him…”
After the First Chechen War, Vladimir Vasiliev was awarded the Order of Courage. Then he graduated from the Frunze Military Academy and was appointed to work in the headquarters office of a military district. He did not like his office job and chose to move to the 245th regiment. In September 1999, Vasiliev, with his regiment, was sent to the war zone. On December 1, 1999 he was shot by a sniper when he and several other servicemen tried to save the reconnaissance group that had fallen into an ambush. The survived members of the group keep on visiting Lidia Dmitrievna. They thank her, “We would not be alive if not for him…” Under Presidential Decree No. 599 dated March 28, 2000, Vladimir Vasiliev was posthumously awarded the Title of Hero of Russia. That did not hinder the Moscow Military Commissariat from denying the Vasilievs an increase in the size of their survivor’s pensions due to them under the law.
The interests of Vladimir Vasiliev’s mother and stepfather (his own father Anatoly Ivanovich died at work in 1965, and Boris Ivanovich raised Vladimir since he was three year old) were represented by Anna Mukaseyeva, a lawyer of the Mother’s Right Foundation. She stated the foundation’s position: under the law ‘On Status of Heroes of Soviet Union, Heroes of RF and Recipients of Three Orders of Glory’, Article 2, and the law ‘On Pension Insurance of Servicemen’, Article 45, Paragraph (a), family members of Heroes of Russia have the right to an increase (of 100%) in the size of their survivor’s pensions. Also, under the law ‘On Pension Insurance of Servicemen’, Article 45, Paragraph (d), Vasiliev’s parents have the right to an increase (of 32%) in the size of their survivor’s pensions because their son took part in combat actions.
Marina Zakharova, the commissariat’s representative, declared that the increase was due to the veteran himself. (Such position is typical of commissariats: their officials believe that deceased veterans had some mysterious breadwinners; they prefer to forget that veterans themselves were breadwinners and supported their parents and widows.) Nevertheless, the commissariat’s representative agreed with the calculations submitted by the Mother’s Right Foundation.
After hearing the parties and considering the case materials, Judge Maria Vladimirovna Kudryavtseva announced a decision that upheld the claims of the Mother’s Right Foundation.