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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: February 9, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Soldiers' Mother Head in Prikumya Charged with Fraud; Raised Cases of Russian Soldiers Killed in Ukraine
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Ludmila Bogatenkova, head of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers and Mothers of the Prikumya [Kuma Basin] in Stavropol Territory, has now been charged with fraud and faces up to six years of prison, ru.krymr.com, the Crimean site of RFE/RL, reports.

Her lawyer Andrei Sabinin reports that Bogatenkova, 73, allegedly deceived a resident of Budyonnovsk when she offered to provide legal aid for his son and took 800,000 rubles ($12,176). Last year she was detained and put in pre-trial detention, then released on health grounds after pledging not to leave town.

Her colleagues claim that the criminal case is retaliation for her investigation of deaths of Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine, says Ukrainian human rights advocate Halya Coynash.

It was Bogatenkova's letter to Ella Polyakova of the St. Petersburg Soldiers' Mothers that initiated the St. Petersburg group to request the Investigative Committee to look into the deaths of servicemen in the 19th Motorized Brigade in July and August, notes Coynash. Military authorities claimed the soldiers were killed or committed suicide during "training exercises."

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick