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27 November 2022, 03:23 PM

Russian soldiers asked Kherson doctors to exaggerate ‘injuries’ to escape fighting – WSJ

Russian soldiers asked doctors in Kherson to exaggerate their injuries in order to escape from the front when Ukraine began to strike at Russian bases and supply lines in Kherson Oblast, U.S. newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 25.

Doctors at the Afanasiy and Olha Tropin city clinical hospital told U.S journalists that even in August, Russian soldiers were seeking fake diagnoses to escape the fighting.

"One guy said he had problems with his knees,” Andriy Koksharov, head of the trauma department told the WSJ.

“A scan showed there wasn’t much wrong, but the soldier asked Doctor Koksharov to exaggerate,” the WSJ wrote.

“Doctor Koksharov wrote that (the soldier) had arthritis and needed to leave the front. ‘The fewer of them the better,’ he said. ‘I was ready to sign it for the whole army.’”

On Nov. 9, due to the successful counter-offensive actions of the Ukrainian army, the Russian Defense Ministry was forced to announce the retreat of its grouping in Kherson Oblast to the east bank of the Dnipro. The city of Kherson was liberated by Ukrainian forces on Nov. 11.

Staff at the hospital also told the WSJ about the pressure exerted by the Russian invading forces on hospital staff, with the clinic’s chief doctor even suffering a stroke.

Chief physician Leonid Remiha and other staff maintained a pro-Ukrainian position after Russia seized the city of Kherson, and refused to cooperate with the occupying “authorities,” claiming that the hospital was quarantined due to an outbreak of coronavirus.

Attempts to gain Remiha's trust with the help of Russia’s FSB security service did not help the Russians either – despite them making all offers of assistance.

In June, Remiha was summoned to the so-called Minister of Health of Kherson Oblast Vadim Ilmiev, who accused the chief physician of the medical institution of having an anti-Russian position. After that, the Russians put the head nurse Larysa Maleta in charge of the hospital, and wanted to arrest Remiha. However, he had a stroke and had to undergo treatment.

After that, Maleta agreed with Remiha to feign cooperation with the Russians, having previously informed Ukraine’s SBU security service of this, so that she would not be considered a collaborator. However, in August Maleta left Kherson, and Remiha fled from hospital into hiding with one of his relatives.

In the same month, Russian soldiers paid regular visits to the hospital and asked doctors to forge diagnoses to avoid going to the front.

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