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Published in Stream:
Russia This Week: September 1-7
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Soldier 'Fighting as Insurgent' Killed in Ukraine: Kyiv Post
7 years
Russian Defense Ministry Meets with Soldiers' Mothers, Human Rights Advocates
Persecuted Russian Parliamentarian Ponomarev Decides to Remain Abroad

The Kyiv Post has published a translation of a report in the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta about another soldier who died fighting in Kiev, Anton Tumanov. This case has been added to those documented as confirmed by TV Rain, bringing the total to 28. In addition, there are cases of 9 other soldiers from Dagestan which is the subject of an inquiry by the Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg to the Investigative Committee, and many dozens more missing which are being investigated.

The article is titled "There Was No Other Job," and describes how Tumanov of Mari El Republic went off to Rostov Region, told his girlfriend in July he was going to war, where Russian soldiers were "fighting as insurgents" in Ukraine, and came home in a sealed coffin. Tumanov was a soldier in the 18th Motor Rifle Brigade, formation 27777, and died in battle 13 August after having his legs torn off from shrapnel.

Racheva interviewed his mother, who said he went into the army because there were few jobs in Kozmodemiansk, his hometown in the southwest of Russia.

Tumanov in Rostov. Photo by Novaya Gazeta.

On Aug. 11 Tumanov got two grenades and 150 machine gun cartridges. On 3 p.m. he sent his mother a message in Vkontakte social network saying: “Turned in my phone. Left for Ukraine.” That was all.

“I can’t understand how they could send them there. It was a big formation – 1,200 people. I didn’t even know who to call to. I didn’t have any of his commanders’ contacts. If I did, I would call and say: ‘Don’t you dare send him!’” Tumanova says.

Tumanov’s fellows from the military unit 27777 told the family what happened next, when they came to Kozmodemiyansk after the funeral to deliver the papers. They brought a notarized document detailing Tumanov’s death.

According to the servicemen, the order to cross the Ukrainian border came on Aug. 11. Those who refused were insulted and threatened by the commanders. They were ordered to turn in their phones and documents, change uniform and paint over number plates on their vehicles. Every soldier received thin white bands for their arms and legs.

Later Tumanova found in Vkontakte a photo of her son wearing such a band, with a comment by his fellow serviceman explaining that soldiers were moving the bands to a different arm or leg every day to signal to other squads that they are on the same side.

On the night of Aug. 12 a column of 1,200 soldiers entered Ukraine and arrived in Snizhne, a town 15 kilometers from the border. Later on that day the column was shelled by rockets from Grad launching systems.

“The boys told me that 120 men out of 1,200 died, and 450 were wounded. My Anton was at the front. No trenches or any protection. They panicked and tried to get out,” Tumanova says.

Read the full story here.