Russian Healthcare Workers Keep Falling From Windows And Nobody Knows Why

Two healthcare workers are dead and one has been hospitalized after each fell from hospital windows in Russia over the past two weeks.

Russian authorities are investigating each incident to determine a cause. Two of the three healthcare workers fell after reportedly challenging or disagreeing with officials in Russia’s state-run healthcare system over coronavirus-related issues.

The hospitalized worker is a Russian paramedic Alexander Shulepov. He reportedly fell from his 2nd story hospital room and is now in serious condition with a skull fracture, the Latvia-based independent news outlet Meduza reports.

Shulepov, along with his colleague Alexander Kosyakin, posted a video online on April 22 saying that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 but was still being forced to work. The paramedic was hospitalized for the disease the same day.

On April 25, Shulepov posted another video online recanting his earlier condemnations of his work and supervisor at the Novousmanskaya District Hospital. The 37-year-old man blamed his April 22 video on “emotional” rantings, according to The Moscow Times.

Kosyakin is wanted by Russian authorities for spreading “fake news” about the coronavirus. He had previously complained about a lack of medical supplies and personal protective equipment in hospitals for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients.

“[Shulepov] is in (sic) an intensive care unit, as far as I know in a serious condition. Last time I spoke to him was on the 30th of April, we checked in with each other,” Kosyakin told CNN. “He felt fine, he was getting ready to get discharged from the hospital … and all of a sudden this happened, it’s not clear why and what for, so many questions that I don’t even have the answer to.”

Elena Nepomnyashchaya served as the acting head of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Hospital for War Veterans in Siberia. On April 25, she fell from a 5th story window either during or immediately after a conference call with regional Health Minister Boris Nemik. The call was over turning one of her hospital’s buildings into a ward for coronavirus patients. She was staunchly against the idea.

After the fall, Nepomnyashchaya was hospitalized in critical condition. She later died from her injuries.

Natalya Lebedeva, who ran emergency operations in a hospital near Moscow, died on April 24 after falling out of a window. Lebedeva had also been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Meduza reports:

“The official cause of death was deemed an accident, but the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets said that according to her colleagues, she committed suicide after being accused of infecting a number of her subordinates with the coronavirus.”

Russia’s state-run healthcare system has broken under the strain of the coronavirus. Though the Kremlin tries to control information coming out of the country and enforces strict messaging among the state’s healthcare officials, reports of mass resignations and under-supplied hospitals have leaked out.

On April 27, a former nurse at Moscow’s Kommunarka hospital appeared in a video online telling of mass resignations at the hospital over poor working conditions and little pay.

“I worked honestly. I did my duty,” the former nurse said, according to Meduza. “I worked for two shifts and sometimes three shifts in a row. They stopped feeding us. We had to reuse our stuff.”

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