2009/11/20 "8 Years in Strict Regime Colony for Anton Dolin’s Death"
  • Press Release No. 110/1253
  • 20/11/2009

Today, November 20, the Reutov Garrison Court finished hearing the death case of Anton Dolin and announced the decision. The interests of the parents of the deceased were represented by Zarema Yusupova, volunteer lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation. The previous court sitting was held on November 2, 6, 11, 2009.

Anton Dolin (b. 1986) was called up to military service on June 6, 2006. He served in the Vityaz Special Forces Detachment of the Dzerzhinsky Division, Military Unit No. 3179, Reutov, Moscow Region. On November 18, 2006, he was cruelly beaten by a contract sergeant of the Vityaz Detachment, Roman Cherepanov. He was charged under three articles of the RF CC:  article 111, s. 4 (damage to health resulting in death); article 286, s. 3, p.(a)  and (c) (abuse of authorities with grave consequences); article 338, s. 1 (desertion). It is significant that Cherepanov beat Dolin because he thought that the latter had failed to uphold the honour of the Special Forces, i.e. Dolin had not been able to win the patrol group of Military Unit No. 6771... The group consisted of 7 servicemen. Their names were established. The case materials read: ‘On his way, Dolin was detained by the patrol of Military Unit 6771 and taken to the headquarters of the battalion. When he made an attempt to run away from the patrol, he was knocked down and fell on his left side. The patrol members kicked him 10 times: 8 blows - to the arms and legs; 2 - to the right kidney. And this inspired Cherepanov, master of boxing, to kill Dolin on the same day.

The testimony: ‘On the territory of the unit, Cherepanov met Dolin and blamed him for having been detained by the patrol and started beating. He dealt him 5 blows to the face and smashed the lip. Then he hit him to the belly and chest no less than 15 times and boot kicked the inside of the hips no less than 10 times. Dolin fell down, and Cherepanov grabbed him by the neck and punched him to the chest. It was witnessed by Popenko, Korotyaev, and Kolchenogov. Then, Cherepanov sent Dolin to the drying-room. There he put on his boxing gloves and renewed his beating. He dealt no less than 20 blows to the head, no less than 15 blows to the chest and belly, no less than 7 boot-kicks to the inside of the hips, no less than 10 blows to the neck, 5 blows to the right kidney.' With all these injuries, Anton Dolin continued his service! Only the next day, when he felt worse (November 19), he was taken to the resuscitation department of the Main Military Clinical Hospital of the RF MIA.

Medical experts established that Anton Dolin received the following injuries:

  • - head: closed cranio-cerebral injury, subarachnoid haemorrhage in the left frontal lobe, haemorrhage in the circular muscle of the eye;
  • - neck: haemorrhage on the back of the neck, haemorrhage in the paratracheal tissue;
  • - body: contusion of the heart, lungs, and right kidney; haemorrhage in the tissue of the chest, paraaortal tissue of the right subscapular area, left lumbar area, right kidney area;
  • - upper extremities: scratch on the back of the left elbow joint and the back of the right hand;
  • - lower extremities: scratches on the front of the left shin, haematomas on the heals.

On November 2, was held the preliminary hearing on Cherepanov's preventive punishment (his advocate asked to release Cherepanov from custody; the Mother's Right Foundation lawyer asked to leave the decision unchanged).

At the hearing of November 6, 2009, the court interrogated witness Sergey Andreyevich Panev, colonel of Military Unit 3461. At the moment of the accident, he was the unit's commanding officer. He told that on November 18, 2006, the patrol escorted a soldier to their headquarters. Judging by his uniform, the soldier was not beaten. He, Panev, did not examine the soldier. He passed him to major Leschov. The next day, November 19, he was informed that the soldier was in hospital because he had been beaten by the patrol. Panev thought that was not true.

On November 6, Cherepanov himself was interrogated. His evidence was as follows: ‘I didn't beat Dolin badly because warrant officer Kolchenogov ordered to just ‘to pump' him. I didn't know that the order was illegal and that I should not have carried it out. Other servicemen also ‘pumped' Dolin - they made him eat bread covered with shoe polish and toothpaste. Dolin died not because of my beating him; he died because of the bad medical treatment and other fellows' punches. I ran away from the unit because I knew about the case filed against me and was afraid to become a scapegoat.'

On November 11, the court interrogated warrant officer Kolchenogov, mentioned by Cherepanov. He stated that ‘since that time', he had gone on business trips too often, got into a car accident, received injuries and forgot everything. His answers consisted of ‘don't remembers' and ‘don't knows'. When the Foundation lawyer, Zarema Yusupova, asked about the meaning of the word ‘pumping', Kolchenogov answered, ‘I don't know. May be, ‘muscle pumping'.

However, he confirmed his former evidence: he saw Cherepanov beating Dolin.

The court also announced the evidence of Kuznetsov: after the accident, Cherepanov told him how he had beaten Dolin.

Today, November 20, the court interrogated witness Popenko who also confirmed his evidence: he saw Cherepanov hitting Dolin on the chest.

During today's court sitting, they announced the evidence of the father of the deceased, Ivan Sergeyevich Dolin. Before his military service, Anton had finished the Izhevsk Technical University, Automatic Information Processing Systems. Thus, Anton had higher education and was called up for 1 year service. On November 22, 2006, his parents received an unsigned telegram. It read: ‘Your son is in hospital. Come.' The parents rushed for tickets, and on November 24, they were in Moscow. They found Anton in grave condition in the resuscitation department. Ivan Sergeyevich talked to Reshetnikov and Kuznetsov, Anton's commanders. They told him that Anton had been beaten by the patrol and then by Cherepanov. From the evidence of Ivan Sergeyevich Dolin: ‘During that month, we visited our son every day, several times a day. He told us how they had beaten him. On November 18, 2006, he was on duty. To pass over his duty, he had to exchange the burnt bulb. That's why he went to the shop to buy a new bulb. On his way, two members of the patrol tried to detain him.  When he tried to run away, he was knocked down by the other members of the patrol. When he fell down, they started beating him. After the beating, Anton was brought to the battalion. Then he was passed to one of the officers of M.U. 3179. On the same day, he was beaten by Cherepanov. The latter did it because Anton had let the patrol detain him. He beat the boy badly, with hands and feet, on the belly and the face. After that, Anton felt bad but they would not listen to him. Nobody paid attention to him, and he was put into service. When Cherepanov noticed Anton writhing with pain, he told him not ‘to pretend' to be ill. The next day, the pain became more intense; Anton fainted and was taken to hospital. (...) I asked Anton about who had beaten him more than others. He named Cherepanov. After Cherepanov's blows, he felt strong pain which never stopped. On December 24, 2006, Anton died in the Main Military Clinical Hospital after Burdenko.'

During the pleadings, Timur Valeryevich Kiruta, assistant prosecutor of the 51 Office of Military Prosecutor, asked to mitigate Cherepanov's sentence. The Public Prosecutor asked to substitute article 338, s. 1 (deserting; up to 7 years) for article 337, s.4 (absence without leave; up to 5 years of imprisonment). He asked for a combined sentence of 11 years of imprisonment.

During the pleadings, the Mother's Right Foundation lawyer pointed out that Cherepanov was a master of boxing. So, while he was beating Dolin, he must have realized the possibly grave consequences. Anton Dolin was in hospital from November 19, 2006 to December 24, 2006. For more than a month he suffered from pain caused by numerous injuries. Cherepanov was hiding for two years. He was arrested at home. During the trial, he did not admit his guilt, did not repent, and did not apologize before Anton's parents. ‘Anton's parents,' noted Zarema Yusupova, ‘suffered an irreplaceable loss. Cherepanov doomed them to suffering for the rest of their lives. They will never welcome their son back from the Army, marry him off and raise their grandchildren.' The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer stated the Foundation's position: Cherepanov should receive a maximum penalty. She asked to sentence him to 22.5 years of imprisonment.

The advocate of Cherepanov, Andrey Ilyich Belyayev, asked the court to acquit him of the charges under article 111, s. 4, and to eliminate p. (c) of article 286 of the CC (grave consequences - death).

The Mother's Right Foundation lawyer objected to the position of the advocate.

In his last speech, Cherepanov asked to acquit him of the charges under article 111, s. 4, of the CC. 

After discussion, judge Alexey Vladimirovich Korotunov announced the sentence according to which Cherepanov was pleaded guilty under article 111, s. 4; article 286, s. 3, p. (a) and p. (c); article 337, s. 4, and sentenced to 8 years in a strict regime colony.

The Mother's Right Foundation is going to appeal against the court decision. We consider Cherepanov's sentence too light for his grave crime.

*  *  *

We continue our struggle for the survival of the Mother's Right Foundation. We have no possibility to work as actively as before. In spite of all the difficulties, we do our best to receive calls and defend the interests of parents of the deceased in court. Under the current situation, we can't do without your support.