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Russian Defence Ministry finds soldiers reported missing by soldiers’ mothers NGO

September 05, 2014, 16:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
All the soldiers, specified in the request, are engaged at planned manoeuvres and field exercises with their units
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Defence Ministry at the request of the Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers has specified the whereabouts of the servicemen whose relatives have had no contact with them for a long time, a ministry spokesman said Friday.

“The Defense Ministry has very seriously taken the appeal of the Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia regarding the whereabouts of the servicemen who have had no contact with their relatives for a long time,” the spokesman for the personnel department of the Russian Armed Forces told ITAR-TASS.

He said that the department received on September 2 an inquiry from the Union’s secretary Valentina Melnikova who requested to specify the whereabouts of nine servicemen whose relatives had no information about them for a long time. “Heeding her request, we have found this out and replied within a day,” the army spokesman said.

According to him, all the soldiers, specified in the request, are engaged at planned manoeuvres and field exercises with their units: “Eight guys have already called their relatives and friends, as we demanded that the commanders control this. We have not found the whereabouts of only one serviceman so far,” the defense official said.

He said the name of this soldier was being specified through Melnikova. “As soon as we get his name, we will ensure his contact with the relatives within a day,” he said. The defense official called “constructive” the dialogue with the secretary of the Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers. “Specific data and clearly put questions ease our efforts in sorting out the situation and allaying the relatives’ concerns,” he said.

He said not all representatives of human rights organisations are ready to work constructively. “Some of them prefer undisguised publicity stunts, shamelessly circulating shocking statements about hundreds of missing Russian soldiers. Not bothering to grasp the situation, they make far-reaching conclusions about alleged loss of whole units,” the spokesman said.

“They have been so far ignoring all our requests to provide the details on the guys sought by their parents,” he said.

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