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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

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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