According to Russian Ministry of Defense, Pavel Zhylin (331st regiment of the 98th Airborne Division) was accidentally killed during military exercises near Rostov. In October, military officials delivered a decapitated body to Zhylin's family. They claim that Pavel was beheaded by a bombshell.
The family doubts it is true. The first doubt emerged when they saw paratroopers from the same 98th Airborne Division on TV as military prisoners of Ukrainian soldiers. Later on, Mr. Putin suggested that they might have been lost and crossed the Ukrainian border by mistake.
When Pavel's relatives opened the coffin and saw a scorched and mutilated body they were shocked. They did not trust the official claims that this was the body of their son.
"I attended the identification of the body when the coffin was opened. It's not him. I am 100% sure. It is really not our boy. It's just not," Mrs. Denisova said.
According to human rights activists, families of Russian citizens killed at war in Ukraine usually receive a compensation of 5 million rubles (90,000 USD). Most of families are in desperate need of money. Military officials suggested that Zhylin's relatives submitted papers for such financial support. But, according to Mrs. Denisova, they refused to do so.
"We are trying to explain that if it is not our boy, than who are you giving us money for? We do not want your money. We are not rich, but we will not sell our son," Denisova says.
In November, the beheaded body was buried at the Alley of Honor in Kostroma along with other paratroopers. They all were killed in August and early September 2014, at the same time as Pavel Zhylin went missing. Mrs Denisova says parents did not acknowledge that this was Pavel's body and burial was done without their permission.
Liudmila Kurochkina, the cemetery administrator, comments on soldiers buried there: "These are the boys they brought from Ukraine. Zhylin does not have a registration number on his cross because military officials buried him, not his parents. Parents do not want to believe that it is their son."