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Mother Of Russian Soldier Found Dead Demands Probe

Hazing is a big problem in the Russian army. In this file photo, a man stands in front of other soldiers with letters that make out the word "Dagestan" on their backs.
MOSCOW -- The mother of a young conscript found hanged in a military unit near Moscow earlier this month is demanding a proper investigation into her son's death, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Aleksei Bulanov, 22, from the city of Ryazan, southeast of Moscow, was found hanged in the military unit in the town of Lukhovitsy in Moscow region on March 22. His relatives say they do not believe in the official finding that Bulanov committed suicide.

Bulanov's mother, Larisa Romashkina, referred to the Mother's Right Foundation in Moscow asking for legal assistance. She says her son was either made to commit suicide or was murdered first and then hanged to cover up the crime.

She said family members were invited to the military unit when told of Bulanov's death but were not allowed to view his body.

Romashkina told journalists today that she does not trust military personnel because her son told her not long before his death that he had many problems in his unit. She said every time her son was allowed to visit his relatives in Ryazan he had to pay either with cash or with expensive alcoholic drinks.

"Our family is not so rich and we were not able to make those sorts of payments regularly," Romashkina said.

Following Romashkina's appeal, investigators have agreed to conduct a second autopsy on her son's body. The findings are expected to be released by mid-April.

Read in Russian here