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23 Sep, 2010 02:11

From one asylum to another – runaway wrestler seeks help in Norway

One month after his escape from a psychiatric facility in St. Petersburg, Vyacheslav Datsik emerged in Norway where he handed himself over to Norwegian authorities asking them to grant him political asylum.

A former martial arts fighter, Datsik was once best known for his aggressive fighting style within the ring. Now he is notorious for his imprisonment, escape and ties with the banned nationalist Russian organization Slavic Union.

Read more – Ex-martial arts fighter escapes psychiatric facility

Placed in a high security psychiatric care for murder threats, assault, robbery and an alleged psychotic breakdown, Datsik nevertheless managed to escape after a transfer to a low security facility: ripping up a wire fence with his hands, he simply walked away, with the doctors overseeing him too intimidated to intervene.

Serious questions have been raised as to how, exactly, a psychiatric patient managed not only to escape but to make it out of Russia without being caught.

“It’s funny – they tell us that he’s totally insane and all he does is scream and yell in reply to any question. However, he managed to cross two borders, and he brought his weapon along,” says Dmitry Demuskin, former leader of the banned Slavic Union, whose members frequently visited Datsik in detention.

Currently under arrest in Norway, the former fighter’s fate now rests on whether he’ll be extradited back to Russia or whether he’ll be granted the political asylum he’s hoping for.

Stein Akre, a journalist in Norway, says the question of granting Datsik asylum has not even been raised in Norway thus far, adding that the authorities are wary of promoting any growth of neo-Nazi sentiment.

The Norwegian authorities are afraid that the Nazi and far-right extreme environment will grow here in Norway,” Akre said. “We had a problem with that 10-15 years ago, but for the last five-six years it’s been non-existent.”