Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN
Video Credit: CEN
A notorious ex-MMA fighter, who was jailed for a vigilante war on prostitution in which he broke into a brothel, attacked pimps and dragged sex workers around by their hair, has been released from prison early.
Viacheslav Datsik, 42, who calls himself red Tarzan, was sentenced to serve three and a half years in a Russian penal colony last March for an attack on a brothel with several other men in May 2016.
Datsik had effectively orchestrated raids on illegal brothels in Russia’s second city of St Petersburg by tipping off police about their activities.
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He was said to be behind one police raid in which 11 prostitutes and their clients were forced by cops to perform a naked walk of shame through the city centre.
Datsik ended up in prison after he broke into a brothel with friends, including Stanislav Baretsky, 44, a Russian musician and actor, and then beat up pimps and dragged sex workers around by their hair.
But the St Petersburg City Court has now partially overturned the original verdict on appeal and Datsik has been released having served less than a year in prison.
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His lawyer, Andrey Fedorkov, had recently predicted that his client would be freed ahead of time.
Datsik, who is famous for his dramatic knock-out of future Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in 1999, became something of a celebrity behind bars.
Other prisoners reportedly queued up to visit him in his cell, bringing him presents and asking for autographs. He reportedly forced his cellmates to spar with him and to stop smoking as he did not like the smell.
His early release has sparked controversy on internet forums where fan ‘Sergey111’ commented: “I hope that this man will run for local elections.”
But ‘Nikolay Semenov’ argued: “This inadequate man should spend his entire life in mental asylum. Nobody can foresee what this psycho will do next.”
Datsik, who has claimed Jesus Christ was a Mossad agent, was previously imprisoned in 2007 for the armed robbery of a string of mobile phone shops in St Petersburg.
He escaped from a low-security psychiatric clinic in 2010 when he tore a hole in the wire fence with his bare hands and then illegally crossed the border into Norway by boat.
Datsik applied for political asylum as a ‘white warrior’ in Norway but was deported in 2011 and was returned to custody in Russia, finally being released in 2016.