2009/06/19 "Death Notice Follows Degree Certificate"
  • Press Release No. 53/1196
  • June 19, 2009

The Mother's Right Foundation received the news of another accident in the Russian Army. This time, it was a family from the Orel Region who got into trouble. Valentina Petrovna Listyeva called us and asked for help. She told that her only son, Alexander Listyev, died June, 15, 2009 in military unit 44235.

Alexander was called up for military service in Autumn 2008. It was that very 1 year call-up which caused so many arguments and a great deal of talk. Many times we were asked if the reduced call-up period would reduce mortality in the Army, and we replied ‘no', because very often conscripts died on their first days in the Army. Moreover, the call-up period was reduced at the cost of a complete abolishment of military service deferments and the Army's changed social structure now comprising people with infants or disabled parents. In case of the death of such a conscript, his family members are left alone, like orphans: who will take a proper care for his sick old parents, and who will raise his children if their main support, son and father, has been returned in a zinc coffin? It turns out that the notorious ‘duty towards the Motherland' is not so much to train strong young men to defend the country as to make their old parents and helpless children suffer. This is cruel and meaningless.

 The 2008 call-up was marked by military officials' statements about how the Army needed soldiers with higher education, and how difficult it was to work with recruits. So what? These statements turned out to be nothing more than idle talk. Alexander Listyev's case is quite an illustration. He was born in 1986 and got into the Army after having finished a college course, so he was not a ‘milksop'. He had higher education, ‘badly needed' by military officials. His one and a half year old daughter is an orphan. He was the only son of his mother. Already now we can give a gloomy prognosis: such cases will happen again on a mass scale. That means that we'll get a great number of children who will be denied of their chance to be raised in a two-parent family, and instead will be raised as orphans; also we'll get many lonely and unwanted retirees.

At the moment, Alexander Listyev's mother needs help of journalists. Perhaps the press' attention to the case will help Valentina Petrovna to find out the truth about her son's death. The military unit representatives suggested their ‘popular' theory of ‘self-hanging', but the mother doesn't believe it. Her son, a grown-up family man with a degree and a great future ahead of him, would not have committed suicide. Alexander's mother considers his death violent. Besides, the situation in the unit was not safe - she had to constantly send him money which they probably extorted from him. On the eve of his death, Alexander called his mother and said, «Mum, horrible things going on here in the unit».

By now, the body of Alexander Listyev has been delivered to his mother. The military officials who accompanied the body could not explain her son's death. Valentina Petrovna insisted on another medicolegal investigation before the funeral and managed to receive the town prosecutor's request in time. But the local expert refused to carry out this examination... 

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