Russian sailor Dmitry Chaykin

He served on board the guided missile cruises "Moskva", a mighty vessel, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, named after the Russian capital, and carrying the "Guard" designation given over there to elite military units and warships in the Navy

On June 3rd, 2015, as the ship headed through Greek waters, towards Egypt, for drills with the Egyptian Navy, Chaykin and another sailor, Vyacheslav Yuriev, a close friend of his onboard "Moskva" disappeared. The details of their disappearance are still unknown.

Two days later, on June 5th, 2015, Greek fishermen found Yuriev's corpse tangled in their nets.

The Russian Navy recovered the body from them, and a quiet burial was held. They released no information about any of this to the public. Chaykin was never found.

Chaykin's parents, Vladimir and Lyudmila

refused to believe their son is dead, to this day, they refuse it.

They also refuse to believe the military's official assertion, which the Navy brass reaffirmed just on November 29th, that Chaykin and Yuriev are deserters, who, by own will, somehow left the ship without permission, perhaps simply jumped overboard.

Lyudmila carried out her own investigation, actually questioning herself other young men who served on the "Moskva" with her son.

All that knew Chaykin say it is unlikely he would have decided to desert, for whatever reason. He was from a proud Navy family, his dad served on ships, and uncle, and one of his grandfathers. It was his lifelong dream, to be on a vessel like the "Moskva", an honor.

Similar things are said about Yuriev.

An accident, on the other hand, is not ruled out.

Like most capital ships in the Russian Navy, the "Moskva" hosts a contingent of Marines on board

whose job is to patrol the ship and provide security.

But, it is a massive ship, and there are countless danger points from which a sailor could fall off, and no other crew members or Marine patrolmen would be there to help or even see it happen. And, with 510 crew on board, probably at over 400 of those being young conscripted sailors like these boys in question, it is a small wonder their disappearance wasn't even noticed until hours later...

Basically, nobody knows what the hell happened, and, two years later, the Navy refuses to even talk to the sailors' families, except to officially brand their sons "deserters", at least one already for sure posthumously.

People are left guessing. And the guesses, are ugly. Sure, it could be an accident, but... TWO lads, having an accident together, at once?

The sailors Lyudmila spoke to, described a NASTY atmosphere created and maintained by many of the officers on the "Moskva". Some called it a "floating prison". The officers were said to abuse the sailors at will, verbally and often physically too. It did get especially bad before the exercises with the Egyptians. The officers drilled all the young crewmen for hours and hours, keeping them out of bed, with no rest, on and on. By the end of it, many of them could barely walk, from exhaustion. These are, recall, 18, 19, at most 20 year old boys. Many - straight out of high-school, the freshly drafted... Could the two in question have been pushed to their limit, to suicide? It's possible.

There is also a question of relations between the young seamen themselves. The so-called Dedovshina is a phenomenon among Russian conscripts dating back to at least 1940s Red Army. Older conscripts who had been there for at least a year, bully and take advantage of the younger ones, the freshies. "Ded" means "old man" in Russian, and, in this case - the old conscript. "Salaga" is the young conscript. There are also various castes in between. The salagi get treated like shit by all the others, and then repeat the cycle when themselves make it higher up that ladder. The Dedovshina reportedly faded somewhat in the Army, where it used to be the biggest issue, since both the introduction of the Military Police, to enforce law and order in the barracks; and also since there is less and less conscription and more and more professional, volunteer-based units.

The Navy, on the other hand, first of all still relies, again, mainly on Marines for security on bases and ships, rather than MPs; and still gets most of its manpower from conscription, except for the submarines, where the crews are fully professionals. Consequently, on many warships, Dedovshina is still said to be a big issue, and the Navy ha snow eclipsed the Army for this problem. It came to a boiling point about four years ago, when Marines were summoned to a warship of the Baltic Fleet, in Kaliningrad, to break up a mass brawl on board, between new draftees and older sailors, many of them serving extra terms, on contract. They mistreated the young conscripts in all sorts of ways, until the latter rose up violently. The older guys were outnumbered, but stronger, more experienced fighters, and were pretty much winning, by the time the Marines arrived, reportedly wielding wooden broom handles in lieu of truncheons, and busted everyone's heads for good measure... lol

Now, this occurs, on an important ship like the "Moskva". I can see why the Navy is trying to hide it... What a fucking mess...