The quantity of suicides of solders grows in the Armed Forces.
Military units are plagued nearly by an epidemic of suicides among soldiers. Command and official investigators attribute what is going on to psychological instability of servicemen. Parents of conscripts and human rights activists blame hazing that has not disappeared anywhere after reduction of the service term to one year.
Denis Khamidullin went to the army voluntarily. He hoped that it would be easier for him to get a job after that. As soon as he turned 18, he went to pay the duty to the Motherland from his Bikbay village of Perm Territory.
Last spring, Denis was sent to serve to Yekaterinburg. Initially, everything looked not bad: reputation of the military unit No. 47051 belonging to radiation, chemical and biological defense troops was not bad.
However, everything changed in autumn together with change of command of the company. Relatives of the soldier reported that Denis started phoning the senior sister and the parents regularly with a request to send money to him. He said, “Otherwise I am finished.”
The Khamidullin family lives poorly. The father is a pensioner and the mother is a social worker. She started sending her entire salary of 4,000 rubles to the son. This lasted until March 7.
On the eve of the International Woman’s Day, Denis phoned his mother and congratulated her with the upcoming holiday. Further there is official information from the report.
At 6 p.m., Private Khamidullin who served on a post of a driver went to the day duty as controller at the checkpoint of military camp No. 19 of Yekaterinburg. Around 11:50 p.m., Senior Lieutenant Nosov found Khamidullin’s corpse hanging in a loop on a waist belt tied to a staircase.
The 58th military investigation department of the Investigations Committee instituted a criminal case about a fact of driving of Khamidullin to suicide. I did not manage to communicate to investigator Yevgeny Shishkin. He is not delighted by attention of mass media to the case. Moreover, he threatened to achieve dismissal of the lawyer of the plaintiff should she give comments to journalists.
This does not scare Elena Makarova who represents the interests of parents of the dead soldier. She has many questions to investigators about which there are no answers yet.
The lawyer said:
– The medical report indicated two reasons of death: asphyxia and numerous damages. Can this be? When the body was brought to parents for burial they were not allowed to photo traumas on the body. There were bumps and cuts there. This meant that he had been beaten.
On the contrary, relatives did not notice traces of asphyxia.
Now Makarova is going to appeal for exhumation.
– But investigator may refuse. There appears an impression that investigators are not aimed at finding out of all circumstances of the accident. During interrogation of the parents they were not even asked about money that they had sent to the son. Fellow-soldiers are mostly asked about psychological condition of Denis.
It is really difficult to believe in the version of suicide at once. First, Khamidullin had only two months left. Even if there was torturing he could try to hold on during this time. Besides, he had no girlfriend in civil life and he could not commit suicide because of unlucky love. Second, according to relatives, fellow-soldiers told them anonymously that Denis was regularly beaten by contract servicemen serving in the same company. However, military investigators and command of the unit, according to them, are aimed at hiding of facts of hazing.
The Sverdlovsk military camp is restricted, it is impossible to come to its territory without a special pass. There are three soldiers at the checkpoint at the entrance. This meant that the dead was hardly one there. Do his fellow-soldiers know all circumstances of the death? If they do, are investigators interested in their conversations?
The army is also closed from attention of the public – head of Zone of Law organization Sergei Petryakov sees the reason of money extortion from soldiers and suicides that have grown more frequent in this.
Coordinator of Citizen and Army community Sergei Krivenko says:
– Army is an enclave, it boils in its own juice and does not let anyone there. There are public observation commissions even in prisons. In the army human rights organizations work only with separate cases. Many relations among servicemen (day duty, phone calls etc) are converted to the monetary basis and that is why the quantity of extortion case has grown lately.
According to data of Mother’s Right fund (on the basis of complaints of parents), last year suicides and hazing caused deaths of servicemen in 57% of cases. Suicides accounted for 24% and diseases accounted for 19%. Head of the fund Veronica Marchenko is convinced that court and military prosecutor’s office contribute to extortion in the army because they disguise murders as suicides.
In April, soldier Maxim Mikhailov was found shot dead in military unit No. 88503 near Perm. The official version is suicide. Chair of the Union of Conscripts of Russia Marsel Khaziev said that hazing could be the real reason of the death.
Konstantin Filimonov, 19, who served near Ussuriysk, died in March. He allegedly shot himself dead from an automatic rifle during the firing practice. Parents do not believe the official version: on the body of the son they found bruises, broken bridge of nose and damaged knuckles.
A conscript soldier jumped out of the window of the third floor of the barracks in the division named after Dzerzhinsky in February. He survived with compression fractures of several vertebrae. The soldier reported to mass media that amount of 110,000 rubles was demanded from him after someone’s things disappeared from his storeroom.
In January, sister of conscript soldier Yevgeny Velmakin who committed suicide in military unit No. 53790 in Belogorsk according to the official version announced that she did not believe this. She told the press that her brother was drafted from Mordovia and was traveling to Amur Region for seven days during which he was beaten in a train. On January 15, command of the military unit announced that the solder deserted and a little later it reported that he hanged himself.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the quantity of crimes related to hazing in Russia decreased by 37.6% in one year. According to him, this happened due to military police
The minister said:
– The work done last year allowed reduction of the overall quantity of crimes by 5.1% including reduction of crimes related to hazing by 37.6% and reduction of crimes related to beating by 16%.