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9 Mar, 2008 07:37

'U.S. is torturing me' - Russian invalid

A Russian man demanding compensation from the U.S. after being left disabled following a crash with an American diplomat has ended his 20-day-hunger strike. He has been paralysed for over nine years after a car incident with the former U.S. Consul General

The American diplomat failed to give right of way and hit a taxi which the then 23-year-old Kashin was a passenger, forcing the cab to spin across the road during which it collided with an oncoming vehicle. The incident occurred in the city of Vladivostok

Aleksandr Kashin says the U.S. State Department has shown no sensitivity towards his state of health so carrying on with the hunger strike is senseless.

“It's been 20 days since I started the hunger strike and there has been no reaction from the U.S. Department of State. It is obvious they don’t care for my life or my health. Neither Douglas Kent nor the Department of State are worth risking my life for. So I decided to stop the strike. Now I will seek justice using other methods. I am not alone. I still hope to receive help from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the support of Russian citizens. The U.S. Department of State is not only torturing me, they are ridiculing all Russians,” said Kashin.

“My demands are the following. I want the Department of State to reimburse me and pay me enough money so I can afford medical care and live a normal life. The amount was estimated by American doctors according to Moscow market prices in 2001. Their estimate for medical treatment for me in Russia was $US 201,000 a year. Since I still have about 50 years to live, the total amount is $US 10.2 million. I only need to cover medical expenses,” the man explained.