A Russian doctor was caught on closed-circuit television scuffling with a patient and another man at a hospital in Belgorod. During the altercation, the doctor delivered a single punch to the patient, killing him instantly. Authorities later opened a criminal investigation after the footage went viral.
According to the Guardian, security footage of the altercation between the doctor, a patient, and another man was filmed at a municipal hospital in Belgorod, which is some 350 miles southwest of Moscow. The security footage was first broadcast on Russian television before making it onto the internet, where it quickly went viral.
Russia Today reports that the video garnered over 700,000 views the day it was uploaded.
Footage of the incident, which can be viewed here in its entirety, is graphic in nature, so viewer discretion is advised.
In the security video, you see a surgeon later identified as Ilya Zelendinov enter a consulting room with a young woman. The woman, identified by Russia Today as a nurse, points at a shirtless patient. Zelendinov immediately confronts the man. According to Russia Today, the doctor shouts, “You touched my nurse!”
Zelendinov can be seen to grab the shirtless patient by the arm and shove him out of the room. When a companion of the patient attempts to intervene, Zelendinov brutally attacks him with a flurry of punches. The patient then reenters the frame, at which time Zelendinov lays him out with a single punch.
The shirtless patient never gets back up.
According to Russia Today, a voice heard on the tape explains the situation after Zelendinov has left. During an earlier examination, the shirtless patient refused to follow instructions. The Guardian reports that the patient, later identified as 56-year-old Yevgeny Bakhtin, may have kicked the nurse during the procedure.
The video continues for a number of minutes, while Bahktin remains motionless on the floor. Eventually his friend reappears and asks, according to Russia Today, whether Bakhtin is alive.
Nurses can then be heard to summon an emergency room doctor, although that doctor never appears on camera. Instead, Zelendinov reappears and attempts to resuscitate the unresponsive Bakhtin. Eventually, Bakhtin is dragged out of the room, and someone comes in to clean blood from the floor.
An investigation was opened after the security footage was aired on television and went viral on the internet. According to the Guardian, the security footage is time-stamped December, 29, 2015. However, the investigation was not announced until the following Saturday, after the footage went viral.
Investigators found that Bakhtin died not from Zelendinov’s single punch, but from traumatic injuries sustained when his head hit the floor. According to the Guardian, Zelendinov faces a maximum of two years in jail for “causing death through negligence.”
Although Zelendinov delivered the punch that resulted in the death of Bakhtin, investigators stated there were “no grounds to say that the doctor wanted to murder the patient,” which explains the relatively minor charge.
“The cause of death of the victim was trauma to the skull and brain from hitting the back of the head on the hard surface of the floor. If the victim had stayed on his feet or hit his head on a less hard surface, the consequences would not have been so critical.”
The Telegraph reports that, in addition to the criminal investigation, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova has ordered the state health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor to check into the events that led up to Bakhtin’s death.
Doctor Zelendinov may not have intended to kill the patient, but it’s clear from the video that his actions resulted in Bakhtin’s death. Do you think that a two-year jail sentence is appropriate for killing someone, regardless of intent?
[Screengrab via YouTube]