2 Nov 2018 13:34

Russian polar explorer injured in conflict at Bellingshausen Station returns to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 2 (Interfax) - The Russian polar explorer who was injured in an argument with his colleague at a station in Antarctica, has returned to St. Petersburg from Chile, where he underwent treatment.

"He was flown to St. Petersburg several days ago. He is still supposed to be under medical supervision, but his life isn't in danger. As far as I know, he was discharged from a hospital, but returning to Antarctica is out of the question," Alexander Makarov, the director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, told Interfax on Friday.

The improvement of methods to support polar explorers is being discussed today, he said.

"I would not say that they are in super secluded conditions there, because many foreign stations are nearby, they have contacts, interaction. But, unfortunately, such incidents occur. We're now considering what additional measures could be taken to enhance a supportive component for polar workers. This is connected to a separate area of work with the groups there," Makarov said.

On October 23, the unified press service for the St. Petersburg courts said that Savitsky had been placed under house arrest until December 8. He was charged with attempted murder.

According to investigators, on October 9, he stabbed his colleague in the torso at least once, trying to kill him, in the cafeteria of Russia's Bellingshausen Station on the King George Island.

An informed source told Interfax that following the conflict, Savitsky surrendered to the station chief on his own and without resistance.

According to the source, Savitsky and his injured colleague had been at the Station for over six months.

"Maybe it [the attack] was caused by an escalation of the situation given that they were in a confined space," the source said.

Bellingshausen is a Russian station on Vaterloo (King George) Island. It was named after Fabian von Bellingshausen. The Soviet Antarctic Expedition founded it on February 22, 1968.