Support The Moscow Times!

Heavyweight Champion Flees Psychiatric Hospital

Vyacheslav Datsik, a world heavyweight champion in mixed martial arts and an icon among ultranationalists, has escaped from a psychiatric hospital and possibly robbed a St. Petersburg cell phone shop, news reports said Tuesday.

A self-confessed pagan, Datsik made a name for himself in the martial arts world before his career was cut short in 2007 when he was arrested for robbing several St. Petersburg cell phone shops.

A court ruled Datsik to be insane and placed him in a prison psychiatric hospital. He was transferred from the hospital to a regular psychiatric facility in the Leningrad region last month.

On Saturday, Datsik tore a hole in a wire fence with his bare hands and fled the facility, news reports said.

A man who looked like him robbed a St. Petersburg cell phone shop of about 7,000 rubles ($226) and a cell phone on Sunday, Fontanka.ru reported.

Datsik, 30, nicknamed “Red Tarzan,” won admiration among ultranationalists with charismatic speeches that promoted white racial supremacy, a law enforcement source told Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Police are looking for Datsik.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.