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Russian investigators open criminal case against Donbass doctor

June 22, 2016, 9:39 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against an anesthesiologist in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the east of Ukraine who in a TV interview called on his former colleagues to render inadequate medical aid to the injured in the southeast of Ukraine, including make injections that do not cure them, but cause their death.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday that the criminal case against Ukrainian citizen Alexander Chernov was opened for an offense under Article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code (incitement to use prohibited means and methods of warfare).

According to investigators, on June 20, Alexander Chernov, who had previously worked as an anesthesiologist and intensivist at Hospital No. 7 in the city of Yenakiyevo in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, gave an interview to a reporter of a Ukrainian TC channel. In the interview he publicly called on Ukrainian doctors to secretly provide inadequate medical aid to the civilians injured as a result of the violation of the ceasefire regime in the southeast of Ukraine, that is, to the people who do not recognize the legitimacy of Ukraine’s current authorities.

Chernov persuaded doctors to make injections to such patients that will not treat them, but cause their death.

A video with Chernov’s interview was showed on a Ukrainian TV channel and posted on the Internet.

Situation assessment

"Chernov by his actions has violated the Geneva Convention clauses related to the protection of civilian persons in times of war of 1949 and the Additional Protocol to it No. 2 adopted in 1977," the Investigative Committee spokesman said.

He said that in accordance with the agreement of the Contact Group on settling the situation in Donbass, during the non-international armed conflict resolution in the southeast of Ukraine, hostilities must be stopped in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions starting February 15, 2015, and the withdrawal of heavy weapons organized. At the same time, according to reports of international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, the ceasefire regime has been violated in certain areas until June 20, this year.

The Investigative Committee representative also said that in accordance with Article 12, part 3 of the Russian Criminal Code, foreign citizens who do not reside permanently in the Russian Federation and who have committed a crime outside Russia, are subject to criminal responsibility under the Russian Criminal Code in cases stipulated by the international treaty of the Russian Federation.

Doctor’s conduct

"I believe that in this situation it makes little sense to talk about the basic moral and ethical foundations of medicine, which are enshrined in the International Code of Medical Ethics," Markin said. "The authors of these rules could not even imagine that someone who has the distinguished doctor’s title could resort to this, and even with a smile on his face flaunt his ability to "do maximum harm to the enemy patients" and prohibit the colleagues to render aid to them."

Such behavior, according to the Investigative Committee spokesman, "goes far beyond medical ethics and clearly falls under criminal law." And if it is not understood in the home country of this "medic", one can only feel sorry for his compatriots, Markin said.

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