Here’s what looks like a case where the beating death of a conscript is being passed off as another suicide in the ranks. We addressed this here, and the tragic Ayderkhanov case broke into the news just 11 days later. This sad story deserved attention sooner than your author was able to give it.
Thursday Newsru.com reported Ayderkhanov’s body has been exhumed for additional medical examination to determine the cause and circumstances of his death. Official examiners as well as one independent expert, Aleksandr Vlasov, will take part in the process which, according to RIA Novosti, should take two weeks.
Newsru recapped the basic facts. On August 31, the 20-year-old Ayderkhanov went missing from V / Ch 55062, part of the Yelan garrison, located in Poroshino, Chelyabinsk Oblast. His body was found hanging from a tree in nearby woods on September 3.
The military authorities were quick to label this an obvious suicide, but his relatives were suspicious about injuries all over Ayderkhanov’s body. He had teeth knocked out, a broken leg, a missing eye, a knife wound in his chest, and burns, bruises, and abrasions.
The Yelan garrison’s military prosecutor opened an Article 110 “Incitement to Suicide” investigation, but just as quickly announced there were no facts indicating violence or the “violation of the regulations on mutual relations” [i.e. abuse] against Ayderkhanov. The prosecutor concluded the soldier was simply depressed about the death of his mother last winter.
The Main Military Prosecutor stated categorically there was no evidence of a beating, and any injuries on Ayderkhanov’s body were from banging against the tree on which he hung himself. The GVP categorically rejected the idea of exhuming and examining the body again.
Radio Svoboda quoted GVP directorate chief Aleksandr Nikitin:
“There is evidence that his death was not a result of violent actions.”
RIA Novosti continued from Nikitin:
“A close examination of the place of death and Ayderkhanov’s body was conducted. The investigation established that there are not any traces of violence which could have caused the serviceman’s death on the body.”
Nakanune.ru quoted a Central MD spokesman:
“According to preliminary data, no facts of nonregulation relations have appeared. But if the guilt of officials is proven, they will be punished in the most strict way.”
According to Radio Svoboda, after the GVP proved no help, Chelyabinsk’s human rights ombudsman approached Aleksandr Vlasov. Vlasov has stated his professional opinion that Ayderkhanov was struck at least 18 times while he was still alive.
Part II tomorrow.