Youth Human Rights Group  
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29.08.2007

Mother Country Devours Her Children

Address to Defense Minister of Russian Federation

Respected Mister Serdyukov!

As you know, this year’s August, private Sergei Sinkonen was beaten to death in “Plesetsk” cosmodrome. He was drafted from Petrozavodsk. This is not the first time when young people serving in the armed forces are brutally killed by their fellow-soldiers, and not the last one, if no measures are taken.
The decomposition and degradation of the army is obvious. Thousands of young guys were killed by their officers and barrack-mates or were driven to suicide by their abuse, became invalids or developed mental diseases. In hundreds of thousands of young souls, who went through army school of life, rather, army school of survival and violence, seeds of evil and cruelty were sown, while dignity and self-respect were cut to the root. Violation, humiliation, torture of soldiers occur every minute.
Dedovschina is worse than terror, because it has become the everyday sadist reality which nobody argues, on the contrary, finding justification for it.
We cannot put up with army becoming a death and humiliation factory, which exists by the tacit assent of Russia’s top military officials.
Our demands are simple, but it is their simplicity that makes the solution ingenious. There’s simply no other way out. So, we demand of the commander-in-chief TO DISSOLVE THE ARMY IMMEDIATELY! And then to try to build it from nothing on the basis of voluntary service, making the army system totally transparent. The army of today is a threat not only to other countries, but first of all, to itself and to democratic state system of Russia.
To honor the memory of brutally killed Sergei Sinkonen, native of Petrozavodsk, as well as of thousands of killed young men like him, we demand to erect a national monument to all the victims of inhumanly cruel system of the army. The memorial complex named “Mother Country Devours Her Children” and a memory wall with the names of all, who perished through dedovschina in Russian army must be open in the Red Square in Moscow.

Karelian Branch of Youth Human Rights Group


Address to the Karelian governor

Respected Mister Katanandov!

The tragedy of Sergei Sinkonen’s death is another one of the innumerable disgraceful examples of the catastrophic situation in Russian army of today. Abuse – legalized, unceasing, unprecedentedly widespread in the armed forces – shows how dramatic is the situation: the routine “peculiarities” of Russian military service, which have already become commonplace, are incompatible with the life of a sane society. Army has made sadism as well as savage and senseless slaughter a law. It encourages brutality and despotism.
The fault for Sergei Sinkonen’s death lies with the whole society, but especially with those who duty-bound furnish the conscription, advocate military service, support the anti-democratic draft system, turn a blind eye on or simply cover numerous crimes committed in the armed forces. The passiveness of the society is equally criminal! Mothers send their sons to the army as lambs for the slaughter.
A monument to Sergei Sinkonen, victim of abuse and blind cruelty of the army, could stand as the sign of the acknowledgement of our guilt and of the citizens’ responsibility for their lives. We address you with a suggestion that such a monument be erected in Petrozavodsk, opposite the building of military commissariat.

Karelian Branch of Youth Human Rights Group

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