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Vocal parent of missing Russian conscript questioned by security services

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By Euronews
The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, on Sept. 11, 2008.
The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, on Sept. 11, 2008.   -   Copyright  AP/Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

The outspoken father of a missing Russian conscript has said he was questioned by the country's security services, reports The Moscow Times. 

Dmitry Shkrebets is the father of 20-year-old Yegor Shkrebets, a Russian conscript who is believed to have been killed in the sinking of the Moskva in April. 

Shkrebets was one of the first and most vocal parents of the Moskva crew to search for answers about their sons’ fate after the warship sank and they were declared missing. 

Writing on the Russian social media platform VK, Shkrebets said agents from an unidentified security agency came to his apartment and questioned him about alleged bomb threats. 

"It seemed to someone that the tragic death of my son did not shock me enough, not enough grief, not enough trouble," he wrote on the online platform Thursday. "Someone wanted to make me a "frostbitten" terrorist."

According to Shkrebets, security service officers claimed that “on his behalf, messages were sent to some organisations with bomb threats by e-mail (foreign)."

He denies these allegations, calling them "absurd".

"I'm even embarrassed for those serious, smart and really polite people who were forced to visit me because of such a bestial fake," Shkrebets added, noting that his laptop was also confiscated for forensic examination. 

"Now, in addition to waiting for news from the military prosecutor's office at the Black Sea Fleet about a change in the status of my son ... I will wait for the result of the examination of my laptop, in which nothing terrorist can be found since it was never there," he said.

Shkrebets's son was declared missing on 13 April after the Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, sank due to reportedly being struck by a Ukrainian missile.

At the time, Russia claimed an onboard fire caused the blast. 

Russia has since remained tight-lipped about what happened to the crew, many of whom are still unaccounted for, although it did publish a video which purportedly showed them safe and well at a military parade. 

The validity of this cannot be independently verified by Euronews. 

Shkrebets criticised the military authorities’ actions over the downing of the Moskva, calling for punishments against “all those responsible” for letting conscripts take part in the war with Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin initially denied that conscripts were participating in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, yet later admitted they "take part." 

The nuclear-capable Moskva was the jewel of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. It was crewed by some 500 sailors.