Boys cut veins to prove they are “men”

Twelve teenagers from a boarding school in the Russian city of Izhevsk have been hospitalized after they slit their wrists. The children allegedly opened their veins following the order of an older boy.

Deputy Prosecutor of the Izhevsk district Bulat Karimov told Itar-Tass news agency that criminal charges have been pressed against 17-year-old Arthur Rubchikov, also a student of the boarding school. Rubchikov allegedly provoked his fellow younger students into injuring themselves.

Karimov added that the teenager might face two years in prison and that “the youngster pleaded not guilty and refused to testify.”

Rubchikov will undergo psychiatric examination which will evaluate his mental state.

According to the preliminary investigation results, there was a fight in the dormitory initiated by Rubchikov, who was drunk. He injured three younger boys with a razor and then forced others to sever their veins themselves. As a result, twelve children, aged 10 to 14, were taken to hospital.

A news source provides another version of the incident: the teenager, nicknamed “Rubinchik”, wanted to check “what sort of men” the other boys were and “who is brave.”

The school reported the incident on January 31, saying that children had smashed glass in a dormitory and cut themselves. Police found Rubchikov heavily drunk. The boy said that he started the incident so that school director Dmitry Gavrikov would be sacked from his position.

Gavrikov has in fact been dismissed from his post until the inspection is completed. The results of the investigation will be revealed on February 15.

Presidential envoy on children’s rights Pavel Astakhov has taken the case under his personal control. He visited the boarding school on Wednesday and said that the situation there now is calm. Astakhov said the school’s students wrote him a letter defending their director, but the lawyer believes they could have been forced into it, Itar-Tass reported.

Earlier, Astakhov noted that a conflict had been growing in the boarding school and that he had received numerous signals from his colleague in Izhevsk that the situation was deteriorating, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

“The situation is not simple, especially because during the past year the Izhevsk boarding school saw a serious conflict between the senior students and management of the school,” Astahkov said.

He added that one of the school’s students attempted suicide last year.

“Neither educational agencies nor the prosecution reacted to what had happened. Thus, instead of sorting out the situation, they tried to silence it back then. That is where this has led to,” Astakhov added.

Astakhov has also called on the president of Russia’s Udmurtiya republic, where the city is located, to pay closer attention to the situation at school. He has also asked that an investigation of other boarding schools in the republic be conducted.

Chief physician of Izhevsk’s Second Children's Polyclinic Sergey Pantyukhin said that the hospital has treated the students of the boarding school who injured themselves.

“All the students had forearm slash wounds. Their condition is satisfactory,” he added. Pantyukhin said that the students have already been discharged from the hospital.