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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Defense Ministry Queries Soldier's Claim

The Defense Ministry has said a disabled soldier faked his record in an attempt to claim compensation for injuries sustained in the first Chechen war.

In his claim, warrant officer Gennady Uminsky claimed medals that belonged to other servicemen, a ministry official told Interfax.

The ministry said it had checked Uminsky's record after he filed a lawsuit for damages against Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. Uminsky said the military recommended he apply for compensation to the rebels who inflicted his injuries.

Uminsky said he was hospitalized with shell shock and shrapnel wounds in both legs after surviving a three-week siege in Chechnya in August 1996 that left 150 soldiers from his unit dead.

In 2002, a district court in the Oryol region ruled the ministry should pay Uminsky a lump sum of $34,000 and a $900 monthly pension as compensation, but last year a regional court canceled the award, saying it was not clear exactly who had caused his injuries.

The ministry said its check revealed that some of Uminsky's decorations belonged to other servicemen, and that he also forged some of the documents in his compensation claim, Interfax cited an unnamed ministry official as saying Wednesday.

Uminsky denied the accusations in an interview for Wednesday's Gazeta newspaper.

"I remember what I did for each of the medals," Uminsky said. "Decrees on awarding them to me were signed by [Presidents] Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin."

Gazeta quoted Uminsky as saying that he had been contacted earlier this week by a certain Nabir Abdullaev, who identified himself as a representative of the Chechen rebel forces and offered him compensation.

It was unclear whom Uminsky was referring to, as he could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Moscow Times reporter Nabi Abdullaev interviewed Uminsky by telephone for a story that ran in Monday's issue and identified himself as a reporter from the newspaper.