In a development, which might make matters difficult for the Russian defence ministry, a relative of the 19-year-old soldier -- who it is claimed committed suicide in Syria -- has said that Vadim Kostenko's body had injuries all over including on his head.

The funeral of the Russian soldier, who was with the 906th Close Air Support Regiment in Syria, took place on Wednesday, 28 October afternoon in Grechanaya Balka.

Vadim Kostenko reportedly died on 24 October and as per the official version, Russian defence ministry has said that Vadim Kostenko hung himself to death following a fight with his girlfriend - the claim has been fiercely contested by his parents, relatives and friends.

Vadim was serving at the Hmeimim air base in Syria as a technical specialist since his deployment there on 14 September.

A close relative of the deceased but now has come out with some startling claims that might make matters difficult for the Russian officials to explain.

An uncle of the Vadim has told Novaya Gazeta, a popular Russian newspaper that he refuses to believe the officials who claim that Vadim committed suicide.

"His has a broken neck, a broken jaw, an injury on the back of his head...and there is a deep cut near his naval," he said.

The injuries suggest either Vadim died in a battle or in a fight inside the base, he said. The report said that Vadim Kostenko funeral took place on 28 October.

The circumstance surrounding the 19-year-old soldier's death has become more mysterious.

Moscow has claimed that Vadim was off-duty when he committed suicide. However, Russian blogger Ruslan Leviev citing a source said that Vadim was killed along with nine other Russian soldiers. 

Vadim's parents in an interview also have refused to accept their son killed himself. "I will never believe this version (suicide). We spoke every day by phone for half an hour. (On Saturday) he was cheerful, happy, and he laughed," Vadim's mother told Reuters.

His father Alexander said that his son would never kill himself over a girl. "I know my son really well."

(Source: Novaya Gazeta)

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