“There are no other jobs anyway’, words of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine on DNR and LNR sides

20-year-old Anton Tumanov, a resident of Kozmodemiansk (Mari El Republic) went to war and died. This is his mother’s story.
Anton Tumanov. Rostov region, July 19. Photos from “VKontakte” social media

Anton Tumanov was brought back in a closed coffin.

The only documents received by Anton Tumanov’s mother after his death

Junior sergeant Anton Tumanov’s personal belongings, passport, and military ID haven’t yet been released to his mother. On August 20th, Elena Petrovna received only the coffin and a copy of the death certificate from the Rostov morgue. It specifies the date of death – August 13th 2014, the location – “temporary deployment of military unit no. 27777,” the time – “while performing military duties,” and the cause – “combined trauma. Multiple shrapnel wound of lower extremities with damage to major blood vessels. Acute massive blood loss.”

Anastasia Chernova, Anton’s bride, called him every day. On 23 or 25 July he said for the first time, “We’re going to war.” Frightened Nastya (short from Anatasia – Ed.) only asked, “There are no Russians in Ukraine,are there?” – “We’re going as guerilla fighters.” Then he didn’t call for three or four days.

Anton told Nastya that the second time they had been sent to Ukraine on August 3 for two days. He didn’t mention any cities, dates or goals of the trip, Nastya thinks he didn’t know.

The last photo of Anton Tumanov (on the right) was taken at a temporary camp near the town of Snezhnoe, Donetsk region (according to the geo-tagging by Anton’s army comrade who posted photos to the “VKontakte” social media). The second guy on the right is presumably Robert Arutyunyan killed alongside with Anton. Anton’s relatives don’t know the fate of the other soldiers. There are no information about the rest of the soldiers.

On August 10th, Anton called home: “Mom, we’re being sent to Donetsk.”

Anton told Nastya that he would stay in Ukraine for two or three months, perhaps until November, without any means of communication.
On August 11, Anton received two hand grenades and 150 rifle rounds. At 3 p.m. he sent “VKontakte” message to his mother, “I gave up my phone, am off to Ukraine.” That’s all.

According to the soldiers, the order to cross the border with Ukraine came down on August 11. The commanders bullied, put to shame, threatened criminal prosecution those who refused. They were ordered to remove all documents and phones, to take off their uniforms (everyone changed into camouflage), to paint over the markings and numbers on the vehicles. They also tied narrow white bandages on the arms and legs. Later, while surfing the “VKontakte” social media Tumanova found the photograph of her son with such bandages, there was a comment by his comrade: “It is the marks to identify friends and foes. Today you wear it on your leg, tomorrow – on your right arm, etc. Everything that moves without these marks is destroyed.”

In the early hours of 12 August a convoy of 1,200 men crossed the Ukrainian border and stopped in the noon of 13 August on the territory of Snezhnoe plant Donetsk region, 15 km from the border. On August 13 Grad systems shelled the convoy.

In short, according to the Anton’s comrades, the operation of the victorious Russian army on a foreign soil looked like this: a convoy of troops came to Ukraine with two grenades per person and unprepared equipment, got caught under the Grad fire and in a day returned with 120 corpses.

Elena Petrovna Tumanova at her son’s grave

Allegedly killed Robert Arutyunyan and Anton. Rostov region


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