The last photo of Anton Tumanov (far right) in the ‘temporary station location’ near Sneschnoje, in the region of Donezk, Ukraine. The photo was taken by a comrade of Anton’s and was put online in VKontakte. The second from the right is Robert Arutjunjan, who is also presumed dead. The fate of the others is uknown.
And where can someone expect to find work here with us in Kosmodemjansk? Only two factories remain here, one makes plastic parts, and I’m not sure what the other one produces at the moment. In May he said, “Mother, I will join the army.” Me: “Wait awhile, you see what’s happening…God forbid, that they send you to the Ukraine. We already had Chechnya, Afghanistan…” Mama, our troops will not be sent there. I have already decided I am going. I need money. I’m not going to war, I’m going to work. There is simply no other work to be had.”
On June 21, Anton went to the 18th Brigade, Unit No. 27777, to the Chechen village of Kalinovskaya. He had chosen the place of work himself. He always said that he really fell in love with the mountains of South Ossetia during his military service: “I would like to see the mountains when I fall asleep, and see the mountains when I wake up.” He hurried to arrive there by the end of the month to get his pay in July, but only in the unit did he find out that there is a three-month probationary period before the beginning of the contract, in which he receives no pay.
“He called and said,” There will not be any money for two months”. “I said,” Tell me honestly, should I send you money? “, Yelena Petrovna says,” Well, whatever you can spare.” I sent him 3,000 rubles (about 50€), as much as I could muster; I am a nurse who earns 5,500 rubles a month (about € 110).
Anton told me that they were all sitting there without money, that their pay had been delayed. When the boys arrived from his unit after the funeral, they brought his documents, which showed that they had not received any allowance apart from the train tickets, only those tickets, and off with them. They only got something to eat here.”
Anton never was never paid for his one and a half months of service. He told his family that they had promised him 40-50,000 rubles (about 1,000 euros). His comrades declared that Anton had apparently been swindled; they would not get more than 30,000 (about 600 euros).