Morally damaged general


General Vivat Beloborodov is well-known in Sevastopol by nickname ’marksman general’, but an international reader may forget him. So, we shall remind.

In the beginning of 1999 general Beloborodov was driving to his country house and noticed two youths who were carrying some bundles. The general suspected that they had broken in one of the country houses. He stopped the car and tried to detain the alleged thieves. By the general’s version, the thieves (15-year-old boys) attacked him and he had to use his gun. As a result, one boy was killed on the spot and the other was gravely wounded and later had to spend much time in the hospital. His left lung was shot through and the bullet passed in a few centimeters from the heart.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs investigated the case and approved of the general’s application of his service pistol. Against the boy, Andrey Shevchenko, who survived the shooting, the criminal case was started: he was blamed of attacking a militiaman. The court, certainly, condemned the potential killer, and Andrey Shevchenko got two years of imprisonment conditionally.

The public did not like this suspicious case, and the nickname ’marksman general’ stuck to Vivat Beloborodov, the more so that he was notorious with his hot temper.

Many local mass media preferred to be on the safe side and kept mum. They even did not react when the advocate, who agreed to defend Andrey Shevchenko, was arrested at night by a senseless pretext. The chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine had to intervene to release the advocate. Only two Crimean newspapers: ’Krymskoye vremia’ (Simferopol) and ’Slava Sevastopolia’ (Sevastopol) dared to print not only the materials of the press service of Sevastopol militia, but some doubts as to the general’s versions of the events. However, not a single publication contained open criticism of the shooting match.

Unexpectedly this story had a happy end: general-lieutenant of militia Vivat Beloborodov was sent to retirement. Now he has nobody to fight with, what is unbearable for a belligerent man. So he started libel cases against Sevastopol mass media, which, in his opinion, inflicted grave moral damage on him. In Leninskiy district court of Sevastopol the general’s claim against the newspaper ’Slava Sevastopolia’ is considered. TV and radio company and some other newspapers are waiting for their turn. The newspapers are lying low. They do not dare to comment on the libel cases.

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