Russian attack “I just want Roma to come home,” says the mother of a Russian soldier imprisoned in Ukraine who said her son was cheated into the war

Lyudmila Bugantsova, who lives in Belgorod, Russia, received a video of a Russian soldier imprisoned in Ukraine and the question: is that your son? According to his mother, Roman Bugantsov did not know he was going to war.

Port breaks down, and a crying-looking middle-aged woman asks what we want.

We are in a small village in the Belgorod region of Russia, just 30 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Beyond the border in Kharkov, rockets, missiles and bombs are crushing houses and human lives, but the war has also brought trouble to this side of the border.

The woman hesitates to give the interview, but after a moment of chatting, asks for more.

“I just want Roma to come home,” he says and sighs.

27 years old Roman is Lyudmila Bugantsovan firstborn and only son. Since last weekend, he has been a prisoner in Ukraine, where he went in a Russian military convoy.

It is in small villages like this that often the young men who perform Vladimir Putin sacred mission of destroying neighboring Ukraine. In big cities, fewer young men go into military service, but in remote areas it is an option for many. After conscription, the army can remain a mercenary.

In the yard of Bugantsova’s house a rooster crows and eagles roar. Everything looks hand-made: a well decorated with plastic roses, a gazebo, plastic herons and a shower cubicle in the middle of the yard.

We sit in the small but cozy kitchen. Bugantsovan launches his phone videowhich he has already seen too many times.

Imprisoned Russian soldier Roman Bugantsov in a video released by Ukraine.

Video sent him a friend last week who asked if that was your Roma. And it was.

Lyudmila Bugantsova saw her son sitting in a field suit, a fighting helmet on his head and holding his face. In the background is the voice of the interrogator.

“Where do you come from? Why are you here? What were you told to do? ” he’s tight on video, and there are other voices in the background.

A young man holding his face says he is sitting on the stage of a truck. The task was to bring nine tankers carrying fuel.

“How old are you? Where are you from? What is your troop unit? ”

Bugantsov says the address is in the Belgorod region, but says he is serving as a messenger near Moscow.

“What phone number can we call and tell you that everything is fine? And that the wars in Ukraine and you kill? ”

Bugantsov seems to break into tears.

“Shut up quietly, calm down,” another interrogator intervenes and claps Bugantsov on the shoulder.

Lyudmila Bugantsova saw her son sitting in a field suit, a fighting helmet on his head and holding his face.

Video according to Roman Bugantsov is imprisoned in the city of Sumy, only 70 kilometers from his mother’s home.

Lyudmila Bugantsova is annoyed by the comments she has received from the video on some.

“He’s mocked for that crying whistle. But imagine yourself in that situation in another country in the middle of a crowd. ”

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Only contract soldiers are officially sent to the war in Ukraine. However, there have been allegations, for example, of Mothers of Soldiers that the conscripts of a senior entry batch would be pressured to sign a contract paper. Presumably, there are also conscripts of the older batch of arrivals in the war, as these were sent to pre-existing exercises.

There is no ambiguity about Chief Sergeant Roman Bugantsov: he has been serving as a contract soldier in the Naro-Fominsk Moscow region’s landing forces since 2015.

The daily life of a contract soldier is a bit like that of any employee: days at work, evenings and weekends at home with the family.

Roman has a wife and a three-year-old son. Bugantsova shows a photo of a little boy with a t-shirt that reads “The Parachute Boy”.

The son is reportedly the most important father in the world.

“Roman didn’t have a father, and he doesn’t want the same for a son. They are very close. Now the boy is crying why the father is not coming home, ”he says and moves.

The mother last saw her son and grandson in November when they visited Belgorod on the anniversary of her grandfather’s death.

The last time on the phone, Lyudmila Bugantsova spoke with Roman last Wednesday, when Russia celebrated the so-called Defender of the Fatherland Day, an army celebration.

“I called him and congratulated him,” Bugantsova says.

Chief Sergeant Roman Bugantsov has served in the Naro-Fominsk Moscow region as a contract soldier since 2015.

Lyudmila Bugantsova shows a picture in which she is with her son after taking this oath in 2015.

Then Roman was already in military exercises to which he had been sent earlier in February. Bugantsova does not know exactly where she was, perhaps in the Voronezh region.

Related to this is something that may explain the problems faced by Russian troops in the war.

Bugantsova is sure the boy did not know he was going to Ukraine, but believed it was just about the exercises.

“If he had been sent to kill, they would probably have been prepared for it. He would have said something to us. But he did not say anything like that, ”Lyudmila Bugantsova says.

If the troops have not been told they will go to war in a foreign land, it is no wonder that their actions have often seemed confused and chaotic.

The next morning after the call, Russia invaded Ukraine.

Two days later, a video of Roman appeared on the Telegram.

Lyudmila Bugantsova felt her feet betray her pool. He had heart symptoms. Her husband Sergei alerted an ambulance to the scene. The nurses gave him a soothing injection that eventually put him to sleep.

Now he shows a big bag of sleeping pills to help him sleep.

Lyudmila Bugantsova has suffered from heart symptoms. She makes plastic beads into flower arrangements to calm herself.

Ukraine publishes information, pictures and videos of captured and fallen Russian soldiers on Telegram channels.

Russia has concealed information about the fallen and imprisoned. Already from the 2014 war, the bodies were transported under the pseudonym Cargo 200. Based on the photographs, many of the deceased have now been left on the battlefields.

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Ukraine publishes information, pictures and videos of captured and fallen Russian soldiers on Telegram channels.

The channel also has telephone numbers that relatives are asked to call. Bugantsova tried to call but could not get through.

He has called the Roman Army Office Officer numerous times.

“He’s just saying Roman is alive, wait. Now he no longer answers the phone. What can I do? If I go to the governor, he just says you know how much there is like you. Maybe if I could find other mothers in the same situation, we would be listened to. ”

Bugantsova shows an old photograph of her son on this day.

“Roman is calm and kind, always helping if someone needs help. We just hope he gets home, ”Bugantsova says and breaks.

Bugantsovan in the kitchen a small television grinds Rossija 24 TV channel news from Ukraine. Now Russian troops are said to be “liberating” the city of Volnovah. The picture is poor, reportedly disturbed by jammers at a nearby military helipad.

According to Bugantsova, almost everyone in the Belgorod region has ties to Ukraine. He lived in western Ukraine for a long time after marrying a man there. Romankin also visited the village there.

Bugantsova’s former colleague has a daughter who lives in the midst of the bombing in Kharkov. A coworker calls him with a spirit in his throat every day.

Bugantsova says she cannot understand how war between Ukrainians and Russians is possible.

“I don’t understand politics, and I don’t want to understand. For eight years, Russia did not intervene in what happened there, why did it get involved now? Who is to blame? Tell me! ”

According to Bugantsova, almost everyone in the Belgorod region has ties to Ukraine. He lived in western Ukraine for a long time.

In Some, he was written from Ukraine that he must demand an end to the war if he wants to see his son.

“Where do I demand it? Am I going to tell Putin? Or to the market to show your opinion? In Belgorod, some protested, and the police took them all away. We don’t want a war, but it’s not up to us. ”

He thinks his son has been cheated.

“I didn’t send him there. They were told there was an exercise, and under its guise they were taken to another country. They were put in a column, innocent young people. Why do they have to die? Leaders, Putin, Zelenskyi and Lukashenko they do not suffer, their children are not there. ”

Sergei– The man admits, however, that everything is due to America, which wanted to invest in weapons in Ukraine.

“Who is to blame? Tell me! ”

Lyudmila Bugantsova’s Sergei man watched television news in the couple’s kitchen in the Belgorod region’s countryside.

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Bugantsova worked in the village shop as a salesman but retired a month ago. He receives a pension of 9,000 rubles a month. When the ruble collapses, it makes more than 70 euros.

Now he is trying to calm down by continuing his beloved hobby, making plastic mosaics. On the wall you will find a portrait of Mary and a child Jesus and a child made of plastic beads.

“I wanted to make a mosaic of Roman and his family,” she says.

Lyudmila Bugantsova has done a great plastic mosaic work based on a photo of her daughter and this boyfriend.

However, the boy’s fate is pounding in his mind all the time. He has attended church to pray. At night, when he was not asleep, he was communicating with Roman’s former army friend.

“Everything is definitely going well. They let him go, the soldiers have to do that. Take care of yourself, ”he reads a message from the young man on the phone.

Two new videos of Roman have now been released. Lyudmila Bugantsova’s distress is severe.

“I know absolutely nothing. Does he sleep? Is he eating? How do I know he’s okay? He has been alone with them since last week. ”

Bugantsova says she only wants peace to return and the boys to return home so the mothers don’t cry.

Ukraine and Russia have already made some prisoner exchanges.

Although Russia initially stated that it would not even take a Ukrainian soldier captive if it promised in writing to renounce resistance.

Lyudmila Bugantsova wonders who Roman could change.

“Come on, I’ve already lived half my life. I can go to the border. ”

Indeed, the night after our meeting, Ukraine is announcing that it will agree to hand over the imprisoned Russian soldiers – but only to their mothers if they come to pick up their sons themselves.

The system is the same as it once was for the Chechens. However, it is difficult to get to Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops have also hinted that cannon and missile men firing at civilian targets may be shot rather than imprisoned.

In one case, Lyudmila Bugantsova has been successful and very successful. Judging by everything, Roman is alive. It just doesn’t take comfort right now.

“The war continues, and anything can happen there. Then we have only succeeded when he is at home ”.

Lyudmila Bugantsova wonders who Roman could change. “Take me, I’ve lived half my life.”

Lyudmila Bugantsova’s home village in the Belgorod region.

Lyudmila Bugantsova’s home is in a small village with houses on both sides of the road. Some of them look abandoned, some look neat and well-groomed like in Bugantsova.

There are no people or traffic on the village road. With the exception of the lonely Skoda, who drives after us on arrival and turns around when we turn around.

As we leave the village, Škoda reappears after us. Although Lyudmila Bugantsova has had difficulty catching up with the authorities, that does not mean that they are not around.

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