ISIS Cossack hostage officially dead

ISIS Cossack hostage officially dead
Grigory Tsurkanu

The family of Grigory Tsurkanu, who had been captured in Syria back in 2017 by the Islamic State, received an official death certificate only in May 2019, Kommersant writes.

The family of the Cossack Grigory Tsurkanu received a death certificate for the military man who had been missing May 2019, Kommersant said citing sources.

In 2017, Tsurkanu, a mercenary of the Wagner PMC, was captured in Syria by the Islamic State. His whereabouts and state are still unknown. According to the newspaper, the situation resulted in Tsurkanu’s family facing "financial and domestic difficulties", such as the inability for one of his daughters to receive her part of Tsurkanu’s pension, since legally he was considered alive.

Eventually, in May 2019, the family received a certificate of death of the soldier, which said that he had died on October 12, 2017 in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor. One of Tsurkanu’s friends explained to Kommersant that it had taken the family so long to get the document because they had been trying to find the military man with the help of the Ministry of Defense and those who introduced themselves as PMC Wagner employees. The man or his remains are yet to be found.

According to the source of the newspaper, the family still hopes for a miracle and only obtained the document to resolve everyday formalities. For instance, the certificate was successfully used in the Domodedovo City Court, which sided with the family in the dispute over the father's pension for his daughter.

Another Russian was captured to replace Tsurkanu, Nikolai Zabolotny, who was also a mercenary of the PMC Wagner, according to his friend. According to Tsurkanu’s mother, after her son was taken prisoner, a man came to her house and said he was a PMC representative. He said that both men were killed by the militants and offered monetary compensation. She added that the Ministry of Defense has classified Tsurkanu’s search.

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