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Relatives of the Armenian family massacred by a Russian soldier last year are suing Moscow

More than a year ago, seven members of the Avetisyan family in Gyumri, Armenia, were mass murdered. The sole suspect is a Russian serviceman named Valery Permyakov, who's said to suffer from a mental disability. Permyakov has confessed to the murders.

Relatives of the Avetisyan family have now filed a civil suit against the Russian federal government, accusing Moscow of responsibility for the massacre, on the grounds that a mentally handicapped man should not have been admitted into the military and armed with a firearm.

The plaintiffs are asking for 450,000 euros (about a half a million dollars) in damages—50,000 euros for each adult family member killed, and 100,000 euros for each of the two children murdered.

The suit points out that Russian military officials waited too long before notifying local Armenian authorities that a soldier has deserted from the Russian base in Gyumri. 

In August 2015, a Russian military court sentenced Permyakov to nine years in prison for desertion. After serving out his sentence, he will be transferred to Armenian custody to be tried for the murder of the Avetisyans. 

The Russian 102nd military base is located in Gyumri, Armenia, and is part of Russia's Transcaucasian Group of Forces. The facility was built in 1941, when the territory was still part of the Soviet Union. Roughly 3,000 Russian soldiers are stationed there.