Updated at 14:38,23-10-2020

“My blood is boiling!” says hazing victim’s mother after studying case papers

Maryia Vaitovich, Euroradio

“My blood is boiling!” says hazing victim’s mother after studying case papers
Artsyom Bastsyuk’s photo: vk.com
Tatstsyana Bastsyuk, mother of Artsyom Bastsyuk who died in the army, has finished reading the case papers. The case was closed and re-opened many times before being closed again now. This is a tragic story similar to Alyaksandr Korzhych’s death. On March 30, 2017, Artsyom Bastsyuk named the people taunting soldiers in the presence of his parents and the unit commanders. He was found hanged a day later. His mother is trying to find out the truth about her son’s death.

"The unit commander was interrogated thrice. His evidence was different all the time!”

Everything was upside down in the case closure resolution. It is stated that we came to the unit administration and our son assured that everything was fine in the army. In reality, our son named the people who were committing acts of lawlessness in the unit.

We were allowed to study the case papers on May 24. I spent more than two weeks reading the case papers and coping out the facts of violations. It is simply a disgrace! Soldiers gave absolutely different evidence. They said that everything was fine and there was no hazing in the army. However, one solder said that there was such a tradition in the army: younger solders had to buy things for ‘old-timers’. The unite commander was interrogated thrice and kept giving different evidence. When he was asked about the reason for it he replied: “I do not know”. The deputy commander’s answers were “I do not know”, “I do not understand” and “I do not want to answer”.

"Nobody could describe anything, the answers were ‘I do not know’ and ‘I do not remember’

I read that the ambulance arrived 40 minutes after my son’s body had been found. The unit commander kept shouting that a note must be hidden somewhere and that he had a diary. They searched everywhere and found his testimonial in one of the pockets. They asked the military men why it was there because it had to be kept in the office. He came to the office and took the testimonial himself, they replied. And there are discrepancies in the evidence, nobody could describe anything properly. They kept saying “I do not know” and “I do not understand”. The investigator noticed that the evidence was different and asked for a polygraph examination. A refusal signed by Major General Alyaksandr Nazaranka was received from KGB.

"The case was closed regardless of all the violations – no corpus delicti"

The unit commander could not enumerate his duties. He was put to shame but he replied that he was too busy to learn them all.

The deputy unit commander did not do anything to prevent hazing. The investigator asked Minister of Defense Andrei Raukou to look into the situation in the unit. As a result, deputy Minister of Defense for Ideology, Major General Alyaksandr Huro (dismissed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka on May 31, 2018 – Euroradio), suggested organizing practical and methodological training for officials to liquidate the mentioned violations and put the preventive work in order. The people mentioned in the report were not punished because they had already been put to disciplinary responsibility. Can you imagine it? My blood is boiling!

“The commander’s omission is evident”

There are six officials and nothing has been done. The case has been closed regardless of all the violations – no corpus delicti. That’s it. At the same time, the expertise could not reveal whether the traces on my son’s neck were left by the belt given by the military men.

I met with head of the President’s Admonition Natallya Kachanava. We were accepted and listened to. “The commander’s omission is evident,” they told me.