Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A Russian forestry official who exposed a scandal in which a deputy in Putin’s United Russia party mocks a dying wolf which he had run over with a snowmobile has been fired.
The incident, which occurred on 6th February last year, was brought to the attention of the ruling ‘United Russia’ political party’s ethics commission that confirmed that Denis Khakhalov, deputy of the Russian Kurgan Regional Duma, would be expelled from the party for his actions.
But the state forest inspector Alexey Sanochkin who bravely exposed the scandal, instead of being promoted, has now been fired.
In an interview he made with the news website Russian RT, he said: “On 12th July at 8:00am I was summoned to the Investigative Committee of the city of Shadrinsk, where my manager was waiting for me with a dismissal order, which was immediately put into effect.”
He said that the official reason was repeated failures in the job, but is under no illusion that the real reason is the fact that he and the employees of his sector began to reveal details of the illegal hunting that forced the politician to resign.
The shocking footage shows the incapacitated wolf with blood gushing from its face whilst Khakhalov and his friends sneer and laugh at the dying animal.
At one point, the group take a shotgun and shoves its barrel down the animal’s throat whilst it squirms under the weight of the snowmobile, which is crushing its body into the ground.
Local news outlet Life reports that Khakhalov claims he was not the one who pushed the shotgun barrel into the animal’s mouth, and then said that the hunt was perfectly legal and carried out with the correct permits, but he was still forced out after widespread public anger.
He added that the wolf was a potential threat to the hunters’ safety, and they wanted to ‘finish it off’ without shooting it.
The footage, which was captured in the Central Rusian Sverdlovsk Oblast region was brought to the attention of the political party’s Ethics Commission by employees of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
The commission responded to the images stating that: “We have come to the conclusion that Denis Khakhalov has lost his humanity by mocking and torturing a wounded animal.”
It went on: “Khakhalov has violated not only the parties ethical norms but also the more general universal human norm.”
Alexander Khinshtein, Deputy Secretary of the General Council of ‘United Russia’, said they planned to expel the politician, but he resigned before that could happen.
Denis wants to appeal against his dismissal and is currently preparing statements of claim for filing with the court.
He said: “I want to appeal. I understand that I will not be allowed to work in the field, but I would like to continue my work in my department.”
Life reported that Sanochkin does not have a lawyer to represent him as he appeals against the dismissal, as he cannot afford it.