Since the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s «partial» mobilization, 17 people have died in Russian conscription centers even before being sent to the war in Ukraine, reported RFE/RL project Sibir.Realii.
The publication released information on all the currently known cases of conscript deaths and spoke to the relatives of some of the dead mobilized men. Some of the men had earlier health problems, exacerbated during their stay in the military camps, while some bodies bore traces of violence.
For example, on 28 September, Alexander Koltun, 35, from the Siberian city of Bratsk, was sent from the Irkutsk region to an assembly point in Novosibirsk. On the afternoon of 2 October Koltun phoned his mother in his hometown. On the following day, his relatives learned of his death – they received a photo of Koltun sitting in a corner where he was found lifeless.
Alexander Koltun (right)
Koltun's mother Elena Gudo told the publication that the relatives still don't know what happened to him.
“The story goes that Sasha was lying on a bench, then he went for a smoke – there was a special room for, and then he came back and sat down right in the corner. That's where he was found. They sent us a photo: he was sitting in that corner, and it was as if he was smaller... It’s very difficult for me to talk about it, and looking at the photo makes me scream in despair. He was recently diagnosed with a hernia, but he thought that it wouldn’t prevent him from serving [in the army].”
There was no medical inspection during the mobilization, according to Gudo, and the mobilized “weren’t even checked at the most basic level.” The family still doesn’t have a death certificate, which Gudo tried to obtain by calling the military registration and enlistment office. According to her, Alexander “seemed to have had a heart attack,” but he had never had heart problems. At the same time, Alexander called and talked about the mess at the assembly point, complaining about everyone drinking.
The journalists also spoke to Zoya Kozlova, the mother of Denis Kozlov, 44, who was brought home to the Chelyabinsk village of Kyzylbulak on a stretcher. According to Kozlova, her son was waiting for a knee surgery due to a ruptured meniscus when he received a draft notice from the military. Since March this year, Denis Kozlov had an MRI, an ultrasound and visits to a surgeon and an orthopedic traumatologist. The man decided to go to the military enlistment office to explain the situation, but there was no medical commission. “They put him on the bus along with his medical papers,» his mother says. Three days later, his relatives were informed that Kozlov was coming home – on an ambulance stretcher. He died three days later, on October 3. Kozlov’s mother reported other injuries to her son:
“According to the [military] enlistment office, my son was discharged due to a sore knee. But his nose was broken when they brought him in on the 30th – all the neighbors saw it. And his stomach was all blue. I'm sure they beat him, and very badly. But I can't prove anything now! I've lived here my whole life and I know how they’ll ‘investigate.’ I don’t have any paperwork to prove that my son was beaten up and didn’t die of an illness.”
The following deaths have been reported in mobilization points across Russia since September 21:
- Sergei Fedoseenko, 39, died in a police station in Vladivostok from cardiac arrest on 27 September;
- Boris Shavaev, a mobilized man from the village of Zvezdnyi in Kabardino-Balkaria, died on 27 September. The preliminary cause of death was thromboembolism;
- Egor Nazarov, 44, from Veliky Novgorod, committed suicide;
- On 28 September, the body of a conscripted man was found at an assembly point near Tyumen;
- On October 2, a conscripted man from Krasnoyarsk died in a military unit in Omsk; his cause of death is unknown;
- 35-year-old Alexander Koltun died in the Novosibirsk higher military command school; on October 7, the body of another mobilized man “with traces of violent actions” was found in the same school;
- On October 6, a 28-year-old St. Petersburg resident shot himself with an automatic rifle in the village of Kamenka; on October 7, two more mobilized men died in the same village. The official cause of these deaths was a heart attack;
- On October 5, a 41-year-old local resident died at a shooting range in Penza, local media outlet PenzaInform attributed the cause of death to a heart attack;
- In late September, a mobilized man died in a military unit in Transbaikalia, and in another locality of the region, in Peschanka, a conscript and a mobilized man died;
- Three mobilized men died at a Defence Ministry training center in the Sverdlovsk region. Maksim Ivanov, a State Duma deputy from that region, claims that one of the conscripts died of a seizure, while the other committed suicide. The third was written off and sent home, where he «immediately died of liver cirrhosis»;
- On 10 October in Yakutia, a mobilized man fell out of a window at a collection point and crashed to his death.