Open Letter by Killed Soldier's Mother

The data that the Mothers' Right Fund managed to gather about Russian soldiers killed in the North Caucasus are not complete, Lilya Palveleva of Radio Liberty reports. But there are 300 more names in their lists than in the official. For example, killed soldier Alexey Matafonov is not on the official list. His mother addressed Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin with an open letter.

"Mr. ex-President, Mr. Acting President, my elder son Alexey had been taken to the army on May 15, 1998, he went to serve because of thinking this to be his duty. I was afraid that he was in Daghestan, but calmed myself with prime minister Putin's words that boys weren't sent to the war without their agreement. After two months of silence, a letter came finally. He was writing form a troop train on its way to Mozdok. He wrote that he coped with driving an armored troop-carrier in four hours, right before departing. "You know, Mom, I just realized that one has nothing to do in the army. It's just a vexing! There's a
boy who's served for two months, he's going together with me. But he even doesn't know how to shoot. Instead of that, they're all so fearless - saying we'll kick 'em all away just so... My death tag number is F-926411, armored reconnaissance troop-carrier # 110. Kisses, handshakes." The letter arrived in late September. He had a little more than a week to live. I whish you, Messrs. Presidents, to have one of your grandchildren reporting his death tag number in a letter."

Galina Matafonova managed to get to know, how her son and his fellow soldiers were made to sign war agreement reports.

"The boys were brought to the shore of Terek River, drawn up and told: "If you disagree with something, put down your weapons. Get out of here the way you can. You are wearing uniform, you can't get out of here." My son burnt in that armored reconnaissance troop-carrier. There was one more boy in it - do you understand? They got mixed. The laboratory's experts now have to realize, who's where, where is my boy's ashes and where is the ashes of his fellow soldier."

The letter to Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin ends this way:

"I wish you once, at least in the world beyond, to meet any of those who was killed through your fault. Let them pass before you. I wish you to choke with their bones, like cannibals. With mother's curse - Galina Matafonova.

Alexey Matafonov was a handsome young man of 19, 190 centimeters tall. The what remained of him went into a 5-kilogram pack.

February 25, 2000