An officer in a military unit near Moscow, Oleg Leontiev, who is accused in the case of the death of soldier Ilya Gorbunov, in his final words spoke about participating “in an event in the territory of a neighboring country,” where “there were said to be no” Russian military.
This was reported by the Mother’s Rights Foundation, which represents the interests of the sisters of the deceased at the trial, online newspaper Meduza reports.
At the hearing, Leontiev, in his closing words, asked the court for a verdict that would allow him to continue his service and join the Russian troops in Syria.
“If a positive verdict is reached, I will fly there on the next plane. This will be of benefit to the state. I already participated in one event there, but the only thing was that it was in the territory of a neighboring country, where we say we do not have a military presence,”- the Mother’s Rights Foundatio cites Leontiev’s statement.
Mother's Rights Foundation notes that this is probably the first public and official statement of a Russian officer.
A soldier of the Bryansk region, Ilya Gorbunov, was killed on February 6, 2017 while stationed in Naro-Fominsk (13th Tank Regiment of Kantemirovskaya Tank, military unit 32010). According to the prosecution, Gorbunov’s commander, Oleg Leontiev, ordered him to drive a tank, although he had not had the appropriate training.
Before the trial began, the relatives of the deceased said that he could have been killed by fellow soldiers, who then staged his death in a tank.
Russian authorities deny that the Russian armed forces are involved in military operations in only one neighboring country, Ukraine. The Kremlin claims that Russians go there voluntarily, and among those that do are vacationers and former military men.