Image 1/1
Add to Lightbox Download
twitterlinkedinfacebook
CATCH 22  Valentin Nikolajev, 54 aar, venter paa busen i den stoerre russiske provinsby Tver. On an assignment for a Danish daily during the Russian Duma election in December 2003, I followed the communst boss Sjuganov to the northern Russian town of Tver. After work one day, as I was walking the streets of Tver, this bedraggled looking person suddenly stumbled in front of me. I couldn´t help myself but started following him. He limped to one of the appartment houses, where most of the inhabitants shouted at him. Eventually one woman allowed him to use her toilet. I assumed he was just another drunk Russian man. However, we started talking and he explained that he had falled asleep in the street one freezing night about 10 months earlier and had received servere frostbite to his feet. The doctors decided they had to be amputated. His sores still hadn´thealed, since he couldn´t affort the necessary medical treatment - just 27 roubles (0,75 Euro) a day! As long as the sores weren´t healed, he wasn´t entitled to invalid pension and without a pension he was left no choice but to walk on the stumps of his legs and beg for a living. A Danish reader donated 1000 Danish kroners (135 EUro) to help him and we tried desprerately to find him a month later. But we were unable to do so and Valentin, as he was named, never got the donation, which might had helped him through the Russian winter.
20031202DEJ1262.jpg