This news is all over the place in the Russian press. A Ukrainian anesthesiologist named Alexander Chernov has been bragging all over the social media, about his exploits in killing patients in the Operating Room.
As a result of this, the Russian Investigative Committee (Russian equivalent of the American FBI) has opened a criminal case against Chernov.
The back story: Chernov lived in the city of Enakievo, in the Donbass region of Ukraine. Since April of 2014 the city has been under the control of the Separatist side in the Ukrainian civil war; hence it is an important city within the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) entity.
None of the pieces I have seen mention much about Chernov’s life or background, like where he studied medicine, or if he even has a medical degree. They just refer to him as a medical doctor/anesthesiologist. It seems that, during the thick of the fighting in 2014-2015, Chernov was enlisted by the local Separatist government to help out in the military hospitals. Secretly sympathizing with the other side (the Ukrainian nationalists), Chernov (or so he claims) did his utmost to ensure that wounded DPR soldiers never awoke from their procedures.
Chernov was interviewed on the Ukrainian TV channel UkrLife.tv where he confessed/bragged that he did everything within his power to commit the utmost harm to his soldier patients. His interview was originally available on Youtube here, but apparently it has since been made “private”, so I have not been able to watch it. The Lenta piece quotes Chernov thusly, confessing to committing the perfect crimes: “Using my medications I caused the maximum harm (that I could) to my enemy patients. The result would appear as a heart-attack, an infarct, or just something unexplainable. It would have been impossible, without specialized medical expertise and an expensive investigation, to guess that the patient had been murdered.”
Chernov added that, in addition to murdering his patients, he also violated their privacy: He gathered the personal data of his patients, along with their diagnoses, and transmitted them (via a combination of email and Skype) to the Ukrainian Security Agency (SBU, the successor to the Soviet KGB). Chernov went on to excuse his own actions thusly: “Many of my colleagues believe, unfortunately, that a doctor stands outside of politics. But I assure everyone, that the Hippocratic Oath is not an indulgence from one’s personal responsibility, when one is asked to assist an enemy.”
Chernov admits that he was in the minority, in terms of his political views: the vast majority of fellow doctors in the Donbass area sympathized with the Separatists. Chernov himself eventually found a way to leave the Donbass and flee to an area under the control of the Kiev government, where he continues to practice medicine.
As a contrast to the Chernov story, Lenta mentions the story of a patient from the other side of the war: a Ukrainian soldier named Stanislav Sovban. Sovban was one of the so-called “cyborgs” who fought at the Donetsk Airport. Recall that for many weeks and months the two sides went at it against each other for control of the once-beautiful international airport, leaving almost nothing behind but a smoking husk. Eventually the inevitable occurred: The better-equipped Separatists took control of the husk, driving out the few remaining Ukrainian soldiers, whom the Kiev government had both abandoned and heroized, and dubbed as “cyborgs”. Because they supposedly just fought and fought, and never gave up.
One of these “cyborgs” was Sovban. During one of the routine shooting fights inside a terminal, a concrete slab fell on him and crushed both legs. Separatist soldiers captured the injured man and dispatched him to a hospital. There, DPR doctors operated on him and were able to save one of his legs. Some time later, Stovban was returned to the Ukrainian side in a prisoner exchange, and the one-legged soldier was recomissioned and now serves near the town of Horlivka. Still apparently gung-ho to fight against the very Seps who saved one of his legs.