«You are not a senior cadet. You're a schmuck and a bastard.» The Investigative Committee found no violations in the actions of the director, whom the Rostov cadet accused of beating and insulting


08 February 2024


According to Aleksey Marinets, in October 2023, he was beaten by the institution’s director, Vitaly Bobylchenko, for a minor offense — the teenager took out a mobile phone during the lesson. The ninth-grader’s parents filed a complaint with the Investigative Committee, but recently they have received a refusal to open a criminal case.

During the inquiry, the investigator questioned the director, teachers and some cadets of the Shakhty Cossack Cadet Corps in Rostov-on-Don. The institution’s teachers and management indicated that no one beat Aleksey, but some of the teenager’s classmates underlined that after a conversation with the director, he came out with a red face, panting for air and holding his chest.

Aleksey Marinets told the investigator that on 27 October, during a physical training lesson, he took out his mobile phone and began recording his classmates. This fact became known to the head teacher and the director, and they came to the lesson, as mobile phones are prohibited in the institution. Aleksey claims that he was taken to the back room of the gym, where the director, Mr. Bobylchenko, first insulted him, calling him a schmuck and a bastard, and then hit him on the head and punched him in the ribs. The teenager recalls that after the blow he fell on the gym mat and injured his finger.

In his testimony, Mr. Bobylchenko indicated that he walked past the gym and saw the cadets «running and going crazy, and senior cadet Marinets was leading that mess and recording everything on his phone.» The director took Aleksey to the gym’s back room, where he allegedly heard an insult from the cadet. The director took Aleksey by the collar and took away his phone. According to Mr. Bobylchenko, he did not use any physical force. These words were confirmed to the investigator by the head teacher of the institution, Ms. Irina Chertova. The physical education teacher, in whose lesson the conflict occurred, recalled that Aleksey Marinets was upset by the conversation with the director, and said that his chest hurt, but she did not see the director hitting him. During the questioning, the Corps’ psychologist claimed that Marinets «lied,» and the Russian language teacher suggested that Aleksey was «fantasizing.» Besides, the teachers testified that Aleksey, to whom the director promised punishment for his misconduct, simply wants to take revenge on Mr. Bobylchenko in this way.

The investigator also interviewed the cadet’s classmates. One of them told a version similar to Aleksey’s words. He testified that he saw Marinets falling on the gym mat and the director shouting at him. Then the door to the back room was closed, and a few minutes later Aleksey came out: he panted for air and there was redness on his face. Seven more students, who were present at the physical training lesson that day, gave similar explanations to the investigator.

The forensic expert, who provided the investigation with data on Aleksey’s injuries, confirmed a fracture of the little finger and bruises, but did not rule out that the teenager could have received the fracture the day before while playing basketball, and bruises are not taken into account at all when assessing the severity of harm to health.

Thus, the investigator came to the conclusion that it was impossible to prove Vitaly Bobylchenko’s involvement in the cadet’s injuries. In addition, the only direct witness to the conflict, Ms. Chertova, also claimed that no one beat Aleksey.

The lawyers who represent Aleksey’s interests do not agree with the conclusions of the investigation. For instance, in the forensic report cited by the investigator, there is nothing about how long ago the fracture was, although such information is contained in the expert’s opinion, which was issued in November: it states that it is impossible to determine exactly when Aleksey broke his finger. Therefore, the lawyers concur with the conclusion that the injury could have occurred on 26 October during a basketball game. Only one student and the psychologist testify about this basketball episode in their interviews — and the psychologist only retells that student’s story. The math teacher says that the injury happened in September, and Aleksey himself claims that it was a couple of weeks before the incident. Besides, the investigator does not explain how Aleksey got bruises to his chest and head.

The lawyers plan to familiarize themselves with the materials of the inquiry conducted by the investigator; after that, they will decide whether it is justified to challenge the investigator’s refusal to open a criminal case, or not.

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