Drastically improving the country's decrepit health care services was one of the four so-called "National Projects" spearheaded by Dmitry Medvedev before he received Vladimir Putin's blessing in December 2007 to become Russia's next president.Housing shortage:
The National Projects gave Medvedev a populist platform to improve his national visibility as First Deputy Prime Minister, and in the run-up to the March 2008 presidential election, there was no shortage of fawning reports on state-controlled television showing Putin's handpicked successor visiting brand spanking new medical facilities throughout the country.
Ward No. 2 at the Serpukhov Children's Hospital in the Moscow region town of Serpukhov was, presumably, not one of the places Medvedev visited.
It was here, after all, that two babies last week received numerous wounds after being attacked by a rat running amok in their hospital room, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Friday. . . .
At around 4 p.m. on Jan. 28, the two infant girls were attacked by a rat in their room, investigators said. Alexandra suffered bite wounds on her nose and both hands, while Anastasia was bitten on both arms. Neither was seriously injured.
The incident happened "as a result of the careless attitude of the hospital's management toward its immediate responsibilities to maintain sanitary and hygienic norms and supervise the children," the Investigative Committee alleged in the statement.
Prosecutors have classified the incident as a case of negligence, punishable by a fine of up to 120,000 rubles ($3,300) or three months in jail. . . .
I was skeptical yesterday when I read a report on the yellow web site Life.ru that authorities in the Moscow region had arrested a female serial killer who browsed the social networking site Odnoklassniki (a Russian version of Facebook) for victims who looked just like her.The balcony. Amateurs. Excuse me, gotta put down some more quicklime in the crawlspace.
The web site, after all, is dedicated to sensationalism and typically skimpy on sourcing. So I rang up Yulia Zhukova, a spokeswoman for the Moscow region branch of the Investigative Committee, to see if there was anything to the story.
Indeed, Ms. Zhukova said, investigators have plenty of evidence that 46-year-old Yulia Pecheneva knifed a woman to death (stabbing her more than 40 times) in December, hacked off her limbs and stashed the remains on the balcony of the victim's apartment. Pecheneva, Zhukova said, wanted to get the deed to the woman's flat and sell it or rent it out for her own financial gain.
A person who kills for property deeds is known in Russian as a "chyorny rieltor," or "black realtor." . . .
Curiously, this wasn't the first case of a murder victim being discovered by a tenant on an apartment balcony. Last April in Yekaterniburg, police arrested a local man who bashed his mother's head in with a hammer, placed her corpse on the balcony and then rented the place out to the tenant who eventually found the body.
Back! Another housing shortage story:
Just an all-around brutal story today out of the prosecutor's office in the northern capital. The St. Petersburg City Court found St. Petersburg metro cop Alexei Varfolomeyev guilty of using acid to dissolve the corpses of two alcoholics that he and a fellow officer murdered in order obtain their apartment.And one story in its entirety:
According to investigators, Varfolomeyev and fellow St. Pete cop Alan Dzalayev in April 2007 conspired to kill, as prosecutors so succinctly put it, "individuals leading an antisocial lifestyle and abusing alcoholic beverages" and illegally take over the deeds to the victims' apartments.
A month later, they zeroed in on a pair of alcoholics — a mother and her son – living in a two-room apartment on Ulitsa Vavilovykh who had a huge outstanding bill for gas, water and electricity.
At about 3 a.m. on June 5, 2007, the mother and the son were both drunk when Dzalayev attacked them with a knife, bashing his head in with a sledgehammer (nine blows altogether) and stabbing him in the neck (once) and the left side of his chest (five times).
He then went into the mother's room and carried out a similar attack (three sledgehammer blows to the head, one stab wound to the neck, 10 stab wounds to the back).
According to prosecutors, the two cops hauled the bodies in the bathroom, where Dzalayev then sawed off the man's head with a knife. The next day, Dzalayev brought in 30 kilograms of chemicals capable of dissolving the corpses. They applied the substance to the bodies over the course of the next week, finishing the job on June 12, 2007.
Investigators say the two cops wanted to either rent out or sell the apartment, which may explain their next move after dissolving the bodies. To quote from the prosecutors' statement: "Over the course of a month Varfolomeyev cleaned up the apartment and carried out cosmetic repairs." . . .
Man Killed By Grenade Detonated In Pocket
A Moscow man was killed last week in a drunken scuffle when a grenade exploded in his pocket.