2008/11/17 "Father of Two Kids Treated to Death at Unit Training Assemblies"
  • Press Release No. 125/1126
  • November 17, 2008

The story of the death of Roman Viktorovich Romanov, resident of Penza, is one of the most shocking cases the Mother's Right Foundation has ever had to deal with. We were applied to by his widow, Svetlana Nikolaevna Semenova, who had not yet recovered from the shock and untimely death of her husband. Roman Viktorovich Semenov was 37. He had served his call-up period a long time ago. He was the head of the family. He left a wife and twin-kids, daughter Katya and son Maxim (they were 13 in a month after their father's death). Roman Semenov worked to provide his family with everything they needed. He paid taxes.  He was busy raising his kids and attended parents' meetings at school. Recently the family received credit to buy a car.

On September 2, 2008, at approximately 11 A.M., a car sent by the Leninsky District Military Commissariat of Penza arrived at Roman Semenov's workplace, and he was taken to the unit training assemblies in the clothes he was wearing at the moment. Already on September 12, 2008, his wife received his body - cargo 200 - with signs of violence...

Roman Semenov had a mobile phone. On September 2, he phoned his wife and told her that he was in the Penza District, in military unit 30785. The next day, on September 3, 2008 at 17:41, he phoned again and told that they were being transported in the ‘brutish conditions' of a troop train to Orenburg, to the training grounds. The conversation was suddenly brought to an end-and no more calls since then. She failed to reach him through his phone number. So 9 days passed. On September 9, 2008, Svetlana Nikolaevna, tired of the uncertainty, went to the Military Comissariat to get information on her husband. ‘I directed my questions to the officers of the Comissariat,' recollects the widow. ‘Lieutenant-colonel Vitaly Borisovich Penzin told me that I would be informed in the evening'. Svetlana Nikolaevna got a gleam of hope that her husband would phone her. However, in the evening, an officer phoned her and told that her husband had died of kidney failure. She fainted in the presence of her children...

Roman Semenov was a sturdy man with no kidney problems; he had never been on sick-leaf. The officials' version of her husband's death sounded unbelievable to Svetlana Nikolaevna. 

At present, the widow of the deceased has a collection of curious documents.  She has the decision of the Orenburg garrison's Investigation Department recognizing her as a victim. Here is an extract from the document: "On September 4, 2008, reservist private R.V. Semenov was in carriage No. 3 of the troop train following the route Penza - the 20th km Station on the territory of the Buzuluksky District, Orenburg Region.  During his journey R.V. Semenov suffered from delirium tremens because he had spent many days taking alcoholic drinks before he was called-up, and his behaviour towards his fellow reservists was abnormal." Then the document describes how the doctor-in-chief of military unit 30785, A.N. Ivanov, spent the whole of the night ‘treating' private Semenov. As a result of the ‘treatment', on arriving to the place of destination (September 5, 2008), Semenov was sent to the resuscitation department in a hopeless state. He died on September 8, 2008 after having suffered for several days. The cause of his death was ‘crush-syndrome' (commonly occurs when a person is tied for a long time and is not able to move, which can be considered as torture) and kidney failure.  According to the widow's words, in addition to the direct causes of death, the experts, that examined the body found signs of beating. At present, the doctor-in-chief Ivanov is under examination; he is accused of negligence in man's death (RF Criminal Code, article 293, section 2).

Already now we can draw the definite conclusion that the investigation of Roman Semenov's death has gone wrong. For the doctor-in-chief Ivanov's ‘treatment' was based exclusively on his diagnosis -  ‘delirium tremens'. We consulted the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia and found out that ‘delirium tremens' occurs to a person suffering from alcoholic dependence when he is deprived of alcohol. And now pay special attention to the following: the widow has certificates confirming the fact that her husband was never treated by a neurologist and he was never charged by the militia (his neighbours are ready to vouch that he was not a drunkard) and what is more - Semenov had to take alcohol tests every day since 2001 because he worked at a large tobacco and alcohol warehouse.

Here is an extract from his reference: "According to the order signed by the General Director, our organization conducts alcohol tests every day with the help of the Alcotester, a special alcohol test device, not less than 3 times a day. During the above mentioned tests, the management didn't fix a single case of R.V. Semenov's being drunk or violating labour discipline at work."

The Mother's Right Foundation intends to represent the interests of the widow of the deceased in court (we hope that the criminal case will be tried in court). On finishing the criminal trial, we'll examine documents of the criminal case, which, as we hope, will answer the question: who ‘treated' the father of two children with torture, and what was the disease? The Delirium Tremens version does not stand up to criticism, and offends the memory of the deceased.

The widow's life has become hell. It is not enough that she is left alone with two children and a credit bill to be paid; now she has to endure numerous phone calls. Here is an extract from Svetlana Nikolaevna's story: "On Seprember 29, 2008, there was a phone call and a caller introduced himself as Yuri Anatolievich Zvonov. He asked my under-aged daughter Yekaterina his questions. The doctor-in-chief's attorney asked the orphaned girl, whether she loved her father, and whether he was a drunkard. Katya told him that she loved her dad, and that he was not a drunkard."  ‘Who gave him the right to talk to my child without my consent?' says the indignant Svetlana Nikolaevna. Then it reads: "I had a call on my mobile phone, and a woman introduced herself as Zhenya Ivanova, Ivanov's wife. She offered me 50,000 roubles in order to close the case before the court trial. I refused to accept her proposal..."

The widow of the deceased asks us to make the outrageous story public. Perhaps thanks to our publications, we'll have responses from some of the witnesses, who went by troop train No. 84172 from the Penza District (military unit 30785) to the training ground in the Orenburg District on September 3-5, 2008.

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