Another Young Russian into an Early Grave
What a country.
Though Russians are wont to complain about “evil foreigners” encircling Russia with malicious intent, anyone even casually familiar with the country knows only too well that the greatest danger to a Russian citizen is . . . another Russian.
The horrific most recent case in point was 19-year-old hockey player Alexei Cherepanov, who collapsed on the ice earlier this week in a manner eerily similar to figure skater Sergei Grinkov several years ago.
And it was all so unnecessary. Once again, total Russian incompentence combined with total Russian disregard for the value of individual human life was exposed in the most horrific manner possible. Russia’s hockey establishment, in short, is every bit as corrupt as Russian society generally.
Not only did Russian sports authorities fail to diagnose the young prodigy’s ischemic heart disease, which caused him to collapse during a game in Moscow (he was preparing to enter the NHL next year), but it also failed to have an ambulance on site during the game. By the time one finally responded, nearly an hour after the incident, it was far too late. Furious onlookers are reported to have assaulted the ambulance crew when it finally showed up.
Reader “Oleg” sums it up by e-mail:
That is beyond belief in any civilized country, but not in Russia. If this happened in the US, the hospital would be sued, there would be investigations and a clear intent for this never to happen again. What will happen in Russia? Nothing. Where did the ambulance drivers have to go that they left their assigned post before their duty was over? To get drunk, I bet. This is so typical of the Russian mindset where an individual life has no meaning. It means something to Alexei’s family, but not a bit to the Russian society. Yes, they will say this was tragic (just like the loss of Kursk submarine was tragic), but will they hold the government accountable? Never, because it did not affect them personally. There is a cynical, hard outlook on the value of life. Just like individual Russians do not care about the hostages killed by their own government in Dubrovka, or the people killed when their own government blew up the apartment buildings, or the sailors that suffocated to death 300 meters under water while Putin played politcs with their rescue — to them if it did not happen to their immediate family, then it is not worth the effort of addressing it with those responsible. Now, a 19-year-old hockey superstar, who had his entire bright life ahead of him, is dead because it took a Russian ambulance, which abandoned its post, 45 minutes to come to his aid. If I was an NHL player, or any expat businessman, is this the country that I would want to live in? What is wrong with these people?
And so it goes in Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet dictatorship.