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Cartoons by the police. New project by Meduza, Zebra Hero creative agency and the Committee Against Torture

News

29 June 2020

26 June is the International day for support of torture victims. There is no reliable statistics of applying torture in Russia. According to the Levada Center survey, every tenth resident of the country faced violence or a threat of violence from law-enforcement bodies. Many victims are afraid of talking about what happened to them. But even in case of publicity, the criminal cases against law-enforcement officers are opened very rarely, and even more rarely they reach the court and the stage of issuing the verdict. Often the system trusts the police officers’ evidence – including the most absurd ones — regarding how the apprehended, arrested and convicted received their injuries. In Russia, the Committee Against Torture helps is helping these people. Zebra Hero creative agency together with Petrick animation studio issued a video on how the police officers explain applying tortures – and Meduza talked to the people who suffered from law-enforcement officers.

Cartoons by the police.
The Committee Against Torture

“The most unbearable was when they put a plastic bag on my head. I lost consciousness several times”.

Aleksandr Semenov, 42 years, deals with cargo transportation, lives in Nizhny Novgorod

On 19 May 2011, I was apprehended under suspicion of murder. The police officers came to my home where I was there with my 14-year old son. They did not explain anything, just said: “We need to go on business”. I agreed.

At the department I was immediately taken to the room where they started to ask me who I was and from where. Then they asked me if I knew Rifat Musin. I answered that I did. Then they asked me where he was at that time. I did not know that. The police officers claimed that I killed and dismembered him. And started to ask where the body parts were. I told them I did not kill him and do not know where to find him. From evening till four in the morning they were beating out from me the information where Musin was.

It all was gradually escalating. At first, it was a “squirrel”. Then, they put a body warmer on me, tied my hands and made me sit on my hunkers. I sat, thought it over, and told them I did not kill anyone. Then, it continued — the first and the second officers started to beat me up, in my face and ribs, with fists. The superiors came in the room, looked at me: “Will you talk?” “I’m saying, “What do I have to talk about? Nothing”. They left, and the investigating officers were doing their business – forcing the confession. They tied me up to the chair and applied an electric shocker to my fingers. They waived with a dildo: “You will go to jail as a brat”. The most unbearable was when they put a plastic bag on my head. I lost consciences several times.

The whole operational team was involved in that. The officers were beating me up in a group of two or three, sometime later they were replaced by their colleagues. By the night time all of them were drunk — on that day they received a salary or an advance payment. I was afraid they’d kill me. Maybe, I would have yielded, but I could not show them where the body parts were buried. I did not have anything to tell them.

At night I was taken to hospital. Then I met with my wife – she was waiting for me at the police department. She saw me in the window and realized I was beaten up, and told me: “Don’t give them anything (evidence)”. Then, together with her friend, she followed the police car, in which I was, but I failed to catch up with her. At hospital, the doctors wanted to register my batteries — and then to declare that I arrived to them like that, with injuries. When they picked me up from my home, my son and other witnesses saw that I did not have any bruises or anything like that. But the police officers started to tell me to tell everyone that I fell from a truck. So I did.

In the morning there was a trial. The judge saw my batteries and asked me what happened. Once again, I told that I fell from a truck, because I knew that if I did not tell that, I would be taken to the department again and they would continue what they started. The investigator mentioned in court that I should not be released, that I was dangerous. But the judge decided to sentence me to house arrest.

For a long time I felt bad, I had a headache and had blood in my urine. When I returned home, I wanted to register my batteries. We also immediately called our acquaintances from television. I did not think about the possible consequences of publicity. I thought that if I tell about it, they would hardly bother me again.

In the end, I was not charged of murder. But there were several refusals to accept a report on battery by the police officers. The case was initiated only in 2018, seven years after. Now the case is close to trial, but, maybe, it would be dismissed again, although they shouldn’t. As I understand, now they would put one of them to trial, and then the others. He does not deny that he could beat me. I did not read any testimonies of other officers and I did not meet any one of them.

Naturally, after what happened, it’s uncomfortable for me even to look in the direction of the police department. Immediately thoughts about what they can do there come to mind. They are sadists. Maybe, they have already got used to such way of life — batteries all the time, forcing confessions under torture.

Extract from investigator Romanova’s explanations, included in the ruling dismissing the request to initiate criminal proceedings: “She noticed a small hematoma of Semenov’s face, in the area of the left eye, she cannot tell for sure. She asked about circumstances in which he received these bodily injuries. Semenov answered that he received these bodily injuries when he fell”.

“He sat on my shoulders and pressed with force. It hurt terribly. I agreed to sign everything”

Aleksandr Dmitriyev, 62 years old, unemployed, lives in a settlement of the Nizhny Novgorod region

In March 2011, they came to my place and arrested me. They suspected me of stealing the tools from the construction site where I worked at the time. In the department they wanted me to write a confession. I did not do that, why I would write anything at all? They started to threaten me. They told me: “We are going to stick the hose in your ass now”, — and all that.

Then I was taken to court — they wanted to incarcerate me, because I, allegedly, offered resistance during the apprehension. Their superior arrived, and said: “If you agree to everything in court, we will release you”. I told him I would say everything how it was. He replied: “You’d make it worse for yourself!” The judge let me go, but the police superior was waiting at the exit, and said, “Get him inside the car and take him to the department”. At the department they started tortures once again.

At first they were cursing and forced me to write a confession. I kept refusing. Then, the police superior said that he would put me in a cell and I’d have to show everything then. I realized that at that time they would put more pressure on me, and was waiting for what was coming. They made me sit on a chair and told me to keep my head down and not to raise my eyes. Then, they started to hit my head with their fists, and my chest and sides — with their feet. Then, they made me sit on the floor, pulled my arms back and handcuffed me and tied my legs with a belt. Then, the pulled the rope between the belt and the handcuffs. One of them started to pull up, the other one – to press my head towards the knees. At some moment he sat on my shoulders and jumped several times. It hurt terribly. I asked to call an ambulance, explained that a month before that I had a stroke. They were telling me: “That’s what you’d die of, we shall refer to the stroke!”

As a result, I agreed to sign everything. They hit my head and then removed the handcuffs and made me sit at a table. I asked them what I should write. They told me: “Write as it was”. I explained that I did nothing. Then, they started to dictate to me, and I wrote that I, allegedly, performed a theft together with an acquaintance of mine. They went to collect him, but then they demanded that I wrote a different confession – that I did everything on my own. Once again they beat me up, my head was contused. When they threatened to fold me in envelope position once again, I wrote everything they wanted. For the night they closed me in the Temporary Detention Facility, and in the morning they released me home against signed acknowledgement.

With fits and starts, I made it home, suffering from terrible pain. My wife and son met me at the bus station. My wife called for an ambulance. The ambulance came, measured my blood pressure — 220 by 110, I had a near-stroke condition. I was taken to hospital. The skin on my hands was torn off because of handcuffs. The doctor asked me what it was, I explained. He photographed everything. Then I was x-rayed, and it turned out that I had a fracture of the first and the second spinal bones. I was hospitalized.

Aleksandr Dmitriyev has a second category of disability, he had five strokes and talks with great difficulty. His wife, OIga, helped to make his story more complete.

Aleksandr Ivanovich cannot talk, tears start immediately… While he was at the department, his son and I were coming there and bringing him some food. But they did not take anything from us, they told us he would be coming home at that time. Then, Aleksandr Ivanovich told they did not let him go either to the toilet or to have something to eat (he was hungry). When on the next day he came out, he called me. He did not even understand where to go. I was instructing him over the phone. His son and myself, we picked him up from the bus and dragged him home.

The doctor of the ambulance said: “Right away, he’s going to have a stroke!” She was afraid he was going to die. It was a nightmare! When he was taken to hospital, I immediately went to the Department of Internal Security. A man came out, I started to tell him everything, with tears and everything. He advised that I go to the Prosecutor’s Office and write a statement. On the next morning, my son and I went to the Prosecutor’s Office, Deputy Prosecutor haughtily looked through my statement, but accepted it. Then we turned to journalists and gave interviews. They told us about the Committee Against Torture and I called them. From that moment, the Committee has started working.

Aleksandr Ivanovich spent a month at hospital. Once, some big guy with a badge came and asked: “What do you want?”, and he replied: “I want justice, I don’t want to be framed as a thief. And I want those who crippled me to be brought to criminal responsibility”. Then this big guy asked if he was ready to go all the way, and said, “Beware, you have a family, children”, — and said that they would plant heroin on the kids or take us outside of town to some ditch. When I heard that, my heart sank. I started to hide my kids at home, tell them not open the door to anyone, and then took them to my aunt to another town.

After that, we had to quietly sell our flat in Nizhny Novgorod and leave for a small settlement. There is no work here, and the disability pension of Aleksandr Ivanovich is only eight thousand. We lived like hermits. For the whole year, no one, but the Committee, knew our telephone number. With their help we managed to prove that at the moment of the theft he was 20 kilometers away from that place, and no case was opened against him. The Committee helped us a lot during all these nine years. If not for them, Aleksandr Ivanovich would not have survived.

The criminal case against the police officers was opened and closed several times. In 2017 they were sentenced to five years prison time. But one of them is already out — we saw him in autumn 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod. Of course, it’s painful for Aleksandr Ivanovich. Such people should at least serve their full sentence. They simply crippled the man. He used to be normal, healthy man! Ex-miner, sportsman, cynologist. And suddenly he was ruined: he became a disabled person at 53 years of age. Now he is good-for-nothing, sick and nervous.

Extract from the explanation of investigative officer Vadim Volkov: “At some moment I left my office room due to work necessity, in order to go to the forth floor of the police department. When I was going back, on the same floor I met another officer, Kulikov, with whom I started to go down the staircase in the direction of the third floor of the police department. At that time we heard shouts “Halt”! and at that time Dmitriyev appeared in the doorway and we ordered him to stop. Dmitriyev looked back at us and, apparently, having stumbled, fell and rolled head over heels down the staircase. We ran after Dmitriyev, lifted him from the floor, pulled his hands back and handcuffed him. We asked Dmitriyev how he felt and if he needed any medical assistance, to that he gave a negative answer”.

“He started to lift me by the ear and beat me up. Can you imagine — you’re lying and you’re being lifted by the left ear? Then he hit me with his high boots”

Pavel (at his request his surname is not disclosed), 30 years of age, lives in Moscow

I was on vacation. It was May [2015], the sun was shining, it was warm. I met my friend Lesha. Lesha called his acquaintances. Some of them I knew, some I saw for the first time. We were walking around not far from Lesha’s home, in the park in Kuzminki. Then, we had, I would call it, a minor conflict with a man, who did not behave very delicately and received a couple of blows in the face for that. He went in one direction, we – in an opposite one, to be on the safe side.

We sat on a bench. I was sitting on the edge, looking at Lesha, and he is looking somewhere through me and cursing. I didn’t understand what was going on at all, why was he cursing, and had fear in his eyes. And I turn – and see a huge crowd running at us. According to my estimates, it was 15 people, no less. And it was clear that the crowd was running at us with some hostile intentions, some curses addressed to us were heard. At that time there were four of us, two already left.

The first that came to my mind is that I had to run, because they would deprive me of my health. I ran in the depth of the park, but could run only for a short period of time. I don’t know, maybe someone pushed me in the back, maybe I stumbled myself. They started to beat me up. I closed my head with hands, because it was clear that when your head is beaten up, all the rest will not be required – the four close friends will be carrying the coffin. They started to twist my arms and legs, at the same time they were beating my head up. All this went on accompanied by the sounds of a hockey game – one of the attackers was listening to it over the radio.

My estimate is that no less than four-five people were beating me up. I was trying to release myself, shouted “Help! Police!”— but nothing helped. They tied my hands up with some rope: at first, I thought it was some kind of wire, but I was told later it is a plastic tie wrap, just like for computer cables. I tore it and started to cover my head again, because they continued to beat me up. Then, one guy bent by foot at an unnatural angle, and it hurt even more. At that moment they again twisted my arms, at the same time hitting me, and once again applied these tie wraps on me, this time more of them. I was completely immobilized. Due to the fact that the tie wraps on my arms were very tight, my arms started to feel numb and swell. The attackers saw that and sneered, saying that just a little later they could also sever my arms. After that one of them stayed with me, and the others went somewhere. When I tried to move my head and have a look at something, they beat me up in the face and in the head immediately.

Initially, I thought that maybe they were the fellow countrymen of the man with whom we had a conflict. But I was lying there for a long time and no one reacted to my shouts, the police was supposed to arrive, anyway. Then I started to have suspicions that maybe I was being beaten up by law-enforcement officers. The attackers did not have any identity marks. Only one of them had very strange clothing – all the guys remembered him – he was wearing a bright crimson fleece. I clearly remembered a face of another man — with a square shaped jaw, dressed in black, combat boots, either bold or completely shaven. He was walking back and forth. Apparently, he did not like the way I was lying – my position did not demonstrate defeat vividly enough – and he started to lift me by the ear and beat me up. Can you imagine that — you’re lying, and you are being lifted by your left ear? Then he threw me and beat me up with his high boots.

My estimate is that they were beating me up for a long time. It started at about eight in the evening, and, judging by the documents, at midnight we were delivered to the police. The police officers came when it was already dark, cut the tie wrap from my hands and attached handcuffs. They never explained anything. I was lying paralyzed with fear. I remember there was a man standing in a police uniform and two guys with him – as I understand, they were attesting witnesses. The police officer gave me something to sign. I refused and said: “Guys, look what's going on. I was beaten up, what the hell was that?” But they looked at it rather indifferently, saying, “you’ve been caught, it means that’s the way it’s gonna be”.

 When the police officers were taking me to the car, one of the attackers shouted: “No, don’t put him on the seat, let him sit on the floor”. At first, they did not listen to him, and then, apparently, changed their mind and made me sit on the floor, maybe, because I was covered with blood and mud. At the department I was examined – it was not a very pleasant procedure. All the laces were cut from me: I had sweats with laces and sneakers with laces. And it was rather unexpected: you’re taken in the room, they take out a hunting knife, and you’re standing before them handcuffed… Then I was taken back to the cell and checked once again – maybe, they were afraid I had something sharp on me and will commit suicide in this condition. At night I asked them to let me go to the toilet. When I was being taken there, I saw my friend Lesha. He was very severely beaten up: his face was smashed, some teeth were missing, bruises under both eyes.

In the morning there was an interrogation. I was told that I’m charged with armed assault. The stolen sum of money was mentioned (simply ridiculous) – 300 or 400 rubles. I started to tell them that I was beaten up myself and that it was outrageous. After that the officers left the room and investigator and I remained face to face. I was sitting there, when an investigator came in, the TV-seе was working, I asked him: “Maybe, you need something? Maybe, that’s what it is about?” The investigator looked at me cunningly and said that according to Article 51 of the Constitution I have a right not to provide any evidence. He also recommended that I called an ambulance, although earlier they could not care less.

The ambulance doctors told me that I had to be taken to hospital, as my condition was obviously bad. They did not want to release me from the police. For about three hours they were agreeing on the hospital. There was a police escort there with me, I was handcuffed. I had a round of formal visits to the offices, then I was taken to some old woman’s office. The old woman looked at me and said, “Ah, had a fight. My alcoholic husband also had a fight recently”. She applied some brilliant green, after that the police officers took me to the temporary detention cell. After that my relatives were informed, a lawyer came. Before that I was without a lawyer, they were constantly offering me to sign something, I kept refusing.

A day later I was taken to court for the measure of restraint to be selected. There I met with another guy called Van’ka, who was with us. Like myself, he was severely beaten up. I had some chocolates delivered from the outside and I treated him. We were sitting in one cell until the trial, there were various words scribbled on the walls, curses also, and above it all there were huge letters “Guys, keep it up”, I remember it very vividly.

As I was told, my friend Lesha was the first one. He was sent to the investigative cell right away. I realized there will be no justice here, staying in the investigative facility may cost one’s health, and life, as well. The judge asked me only one question: why I kept the company of Lesha. I said the first thing that came to my mind: “His dog was ill and I helped him to treat it, that was the basis of our friendship”. Apparently, the judge turned out to be a dog lover, I don’t know what switched in her head, but she released me for house arrest. And everyone who was after me, as well.

I applied to several hospitals because of my injuries. Among other things, I was diagnosed with a post-traumatic deafness. At some moment I felt bad and started to pass out. As a result, I found myself in some hospital where I was diagnosed with a closed craniocerebral injury. At my request, the lawyer submitted application on illegal use violence applied against me by the police officers.

I suggested that Lesha and Vanya submit an application. Lesha said that he would do that only if I succeed. Vanya said that he was afraid he will be framed with something else. I was infuriated with this situation, the decision to submit an application was spontaneous. At first, there were formal replies stating that I was offering resistance, then – trials on this subject. But in the end, no criminal case was opened against the police officers. And I was sentenced to five years’ conditional term.

I have intention not to have anything to do with this country – leave it for good. Due to the fact that I was convicted, I can only work in companies with no security departments. We have a most severe discrimination of convicts, there is no point even to apply. What happened to me also had a very negative impact on my psychic condition: doctors diagnosed me with a post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not that I’m scared by the police, exactly… Maybe, when long time ago people met robbers in the forest, they also had similar “pleasant” experience like myself when I meet police in the street. I haven’t seen any assistance or performing their duties. On the contrary, doing some beastliness for them goes without saying. It looks like these people live by the slogan of Chapeau-Claque old woman: “Who helps people only wastes his time. There is no way one get famous through doing good things”.

Extract from the explanation of the investigative officer of the Anti-Extremism Chief Directorate with the Ministry of the Interior of Russia L.A.Utenkov, included in the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings: “Physical force against all the apprehended, including Pavel, was applied in accordance with Federal Law “On Police”, and no one beat up Pavel or any other apprehended persons. Pavel’s bodily injuries may have been generated, as he supposes, when such combat techniques were applied against him, as pulling arms behind the back and etc., as well as due to the fact that during applying these combat techniques he broke away, hitting himself against the ground, tree roots and other objects. As he realized, Pavel did it on purpose, in order to inflict himself damage and escape from criminal responsibility for his crime”.

“The four officers were holding his arms and legs, and Simonenko took off the boots and was hovering on his head”

Nadezhda Chertovskikh, 52 years old, lives in Kasimov town of the Ryazan region, temporarily unemployed. 24-year old Nadezhda’s son Vladimir Tkachuk was serving his sentence at Pre-Trial Detention Center of the Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region. On 3 September 2013, he was beaten up by the Pre-Trial Detention Center officers, and two days later he died.

I visited Vladimir quite often, three times per year, at least. We had a deal: “Mother, if you don’t hear about me for three days – look for me”. They have some telephone numbers, contacts – everything, in order to notify one is alive or not.

On 1 September 2013 we were talking. On the 2nd I did not hear him, on the 3rd – did not hear, neither did I hear him on the 4th. On these days I woke up at night and could not get to sleep till morning. I came to work and said, “I have a feeling that something happened. I cannot sleep till morning, no matter what I do”. In the evening of the 4th of September I decided that I would be looking for him on the next day – these were the thoughts I came to sleep with. At one o’clock at night I felt come kind of burst, like something happened. I explained it to myself later on, at morgue. He died at three o’clock Orenburg time, it was only one o’clock with us. Can you imagine, I felt that something happened two thousand kilometers away.

In the morning I came to work, decided to wait till ten o'’clock and call the duty officer of Pre-Trial Detention Center. But half past nine, my sister from Broslavka called and said, “Nadya, our Volodya died”. Our brother Volodya is already advanced in years, he was ill with cancer and I thought about him first. I’m saying: “Oh, Lord, how will Lyuba cope now”? The sister replied: “You don’t understand, it’s our Volod’ka who died”. Once again, I could not dig right away who “our Volod’ka” was. Because I was with him from August 10 to 14, and he was healthy. I was going to take a photo of us together, but we decided that in September we will come to him with all the family and will make a photo. And all of a sudden my sister says: “Your Volod’ka!” Only after that I felt a surge of emotions. I went out of the counter (I was a shop-assistant), came inside the administration premises and could not go out from there. I was given some pills, tranquilizers. Only then I called my sister and asked her how she learned about it. It turned out that telegram “collect the body” arrived to the village where the son was registered. It was a horrible day: everyone was in a fuss running around, buying some socks, a costume, and I can’t see all this, as if I went mad.

In the evening my husband returned from the business trip, and in the morning younger son Zhenya came from the army draft. We left early (to Orsk, where Pre-Trial Detention Center was). The car was breaking down all the time, as if it did not want to go. It was a nightmare of a road. I was freaking out, I had to fly there as fast as I could.

While we were on the road, some young man called me and said: “Your son died today. He did not die, he was killed”. And he told me how he was killed: four Pre-Trial Detention Center officers were holding him by the arms and legs and head of the Operational Department Vitaly Simonenko took off his boots and was walking on his head. This young man said that Volod’ka was killed because he refused to take the drug case upon himself. In December the son was going to apply for an early parole. Sometime later he called me once again and asked not to drop this case and bring it to the end – I remembered that vividly. He said: “Now you’ll come and you’ll be given a false theory that a wooden plank fell on him. But you should not believe that, he was actually murdered”. Based on his words, I realized that he was serving the sentence together with Vladimir. I believed him, because my son could not die just like that. He never complained of anything, he was on normal terms with everyone”.

The convict from the Pre-Trial Detention Facility informed about the murder not only myself, but also the Committee Against Torture. They called me and suggested that we meet. We went to the morgue together, but we were not allowed, as it was Saturday. We only managed to collect the body on Monday. We went to the Pre-Trial Detention Facility to ask what happened and how he died. Head of the Pre-Trial Detention Facility Evgeny Shnaider agreed to meet us. He said that Volod’ka was at work — he was doing the floor, as it seems, at a cowshed, and a 2 meter wooden plank fell on him. In the Shnaider’s eyes we saw mockery, not condolences.

During the burial of Vladimir we saw that he was beaten all over, with bruises on the neck. How can a plank fall on the neck? His head was as flat as a table. I was told it’s because of an autopsy. But later on we had a talk with a convict who was present during the battery of Vladimir by Vasily Mirzadjanov. He told me that when my son was beaten up, a square wooden box was put on his head. The son had numerous fractures, his groin was badly damaged… When the forensic medical examination conclusion arrived, I called my sister (she’s a nurse) and asked her to explain to me what happened to him. She started to read, but started to cry when she reached the middle part, I heard her sobbing. The sister was crying, saying that his head was beaten in. He was lying for two days, asking to call an ambulance, but head of the Pre-Trial Detention Facility Shnaider did not allow the ambulance on the territory. How can we call that? Is this humane?

We submitted an application requesting to open a criminal case in autumn 2013, and our request was dismissed several times. The case was opened only in March 2017. They opened the case and then closed after some time due to lack of evidence. I don’t know how these guys from the Committee Against Torture work. I’m very grateful to them. Hats off to them from all the mothers of those whom they are protecting. It is a sacrifice. They receive another dismissal and they say: "Nadezhda Vladimirovna, don’t worry, we shall submit another application requesting to open a criminal case”.

I saw the persons guilty of murder of my son (officers Shnaider and Simonenko) in court. Shnaider turned away, and looked at me with an averted vision. Simonenko hid behind the lawyer, I did not see his face. Later on, I learned that it turns out they apologized to me, asked my forgiveness. I was infuriated. When did I hear their words? I did not. Am I deaf or what? The verdict cannot be called soft, even. They were just formally sentenced, I think. They were convicted in 2018 (the court sentenced Simonenko to four years of penal colony, and Shnaider – to two years, — comment by Meduza), and in 2019 they were released. Simonenko was released even earlier, for some reason. What’s the pattern here? Probably, he properly obeyed all the rules: his bedside table was clean, his bed was made.

How did my life change? I fear for my younger son very much. I still don’t have the guts to erase Volod’ka numbers in the contacts of my phone. I have a feeling that he is there, that he’ll come soon. A feeling of emptiness. We have lived through so much together… Yes, the man made a mistake, but why kill him for that! He wanted to complete his sentence, he wanted to be released, wanted a normal life, have kids. As a result, I’m without a son, I could have grandkids, and now what? Did I grow him for this? For them to walk over his head? And to put this wooden box on his head? My nerves are good for nothing now. When it’s one trial after another, and I need to go so far, I’m shaking all over. I don’t know myself how I lived through all that.

I have a photo of my son at home, he’s smiling there. I’m putting some flowers for him, light a candle. I cannot do it in the church, because he was not baptized. A lot of flowers always. Because he is always alive for me.

Extract from the agency check, conducted in September 2013: “According to the instruction, the planks were put in piles with several rows, in horizontal position, with dividing gaskets. Tkachuk and Yartsev put about 20 planks in vertical position for convenience, without permission. During reshuffling of the planks one of them fell on Tkachuk and hit his head in the parietal area. At the moment of the plank falling Yartsev did not see Tkachuk, only head the sound of the impact and a cry of Tkachuk. Yartsev came up to Tkachuk to learn what happened. Tkachuk explained that a plank fell on his head and asked Yartsev to explain if he had any injuries in the parietal area. Yartsev did not see any bodily injuries on Tkachuk’s head during visual examination. After that they continued their work for floor repair. <…>

[On the next morning] Tkachuk did not stand up from sleeping accommodation after order „Wake up“ and did not show up for the morning check. <…> Tkachuk was escorted to the medical unit for examination. During the examination by the duty nurse no health issues were identified. Tkachuk was put to punitive confinement for violation of the day’s routine. When in punitive confinement, he did not express any health complaints, no one saw any bodily injuries on him. <…> [On the next evening, the nurse] examined Tkachuk, checked his blood pressure and body temperature and gave him some fever-reducing drug. [A little later] it was decided to call for an ambulance. <…> At 2 hours 50 minutes 05.09.2013 <…> Tkachuk’s death was registered. Preliminary diagnosis: meningitis against the background of acute purulent sinusitis (siagonantritis and frontal sinusitis)”.

Source: Meduza
Interview: Kristina Safonova
Creation and production: Zebra Hero
Animation: Petrick studio