The death of 19 year-old contract soldier from Russia's Krasnodar region Vadim Kostenko, killed on Oct. 25, was announced in social media by his friends and relatives.
"While checking out the information -- his profile, profiles of his friends and relatives -- we found a lot of evidence that he had been an acting contract serviceman. He was discharged from compulsory military service in June 2015 and signed a contract shortly after," the investigation report reads.
"After completing compulsory military service in the military unit No. 20926 (834th Air Force training center, Zernograd, Rostov region), Vadim signed a contract with the military unit No. 75387, 960th Assault Aviation Regiment," the authors suggest. He was not a pilot, but was engaged in maintenance works at the airport.
According to information published by relatives in social media, Kostenko died on Oct. 24, 2015. The Wall Street Journal published an article Oct. 23 about Russia's participation in the military conflict in Syria, giving first reports of casualties among Russian troops. WSJ received a comment from a source in the Russian Defense Ministry, who confirmed the death of one military (his name was not mentioned in the article) but said that the soldier died due to careless handling of weaponry and not in fighting.
The CIT activists say the relatives of servicemen spread "rumors" about nine more soldiers killed with Kostenko.
Russia's Defense Ministry press service failed to promptly comment on the death of the soldier.
One of Kostenko's relatives confirmed he had been sent to Syria on Sept. 14, and on Oct. 25 the family was informed of his death. As also reported, originally it was announced Kostenko committed suicide by hanging. Later on, it was reported the soldier had been found dead, without specifying the details of the incident, the medium says.