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Ivanovo Doctor Fears Reprisals

Published: December 21, 2010 (Issue # 1636)


MOSCOW — An Ivanovo doctor fears being fired or beaten after he told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on a call-in show last week that a local hospital had faked a display for a visit by Putin, installing borrowed equipment, dressing up staff as patients and forcing nurses to lie about their salaries.

The doctor, Ivan Khrenov, 24, was selected out of thousands of Russians to address Putin during his annual call-in show Thursday. Speaking as an anonymous caller, Khrenov told Putin that the administration of an Ivanovo hospital had created a Potemkin village for his visit on Nov. 9.

He said sick patients were sent home, replaced by clinic personnel surrounded by gleaming equipment borrowed from other hospitals, and nurses had to tell Putin that their monthly salaries had been raised to 12,000 rubles ($390), when in fact they get about 5,000 rubles ($165).

Putin replied that Khrenov’s comments were “strange” but promised that a special commission from the Health and Social Development Ministry would scrutinize how the hospital spent the 130 million rubles ($4.2 million) that it received from the federal government this year.

When the studio audience broke into applause, Putin asked, “What are you cheering at? The art of the [hospital] managers or the doctor’s bravery?”

Ivanovo Governor Mikhail Men, reappointed by the Kremlin to a new five-year term in October, voiced skepticism about Khrenov’s allegations Friday but promised to examine them.

The region’s top health official, Irina Atroshenko, released a statement late Thursday describing Khrenov as “insane” and denying that he had any connection to the hospital.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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