: RFE/RL: In Crimean port, a hospital reportedly takes a 'Potemkin' approach to impress

17:11 May. 28, 2016

RFE/RL: In Crimean port, a hospital reportedly takes a 'Potemkin' approach to impress

Sevastopol Governor Sergei Menyeilo (fourth from right) and the city's health department chief, Yury Voskanian (far right), attend the official opening of a new hospital operating theater on May 18. (Screenshot)

Crimean hospital leaves a lot to be desired

The Potemkin Village, that tried and true manifestation of Russian bureaucratic ingenuity whose place in popular lore has been cemented for centuries, has been updated for the 21st century.

The Potemkin hospital.

A hospital in Sevastopol, the largest city on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea seized by Russia in 2014, was eager to show off its freshly renovated operating room in its new children's ward earlier this month.

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According to the Crimean news website Primechaniya, the city's head, Governor Sergei Menyeilo, and the chief of the city's health department, Yury Voskanian, visited the facility on May 18 to dedicate the new surgery.

The problem was, according to a facility staffer quoted by Primechaniya, that the renovation for the new operating room used up all the funds allocated for the project, and there was no money left over for new equipment.

The hospital's chief ordered that machinery and equipment should be taken from other units in the hospital, and other facilities in the city, and placed in the new ward for the dedication ceremony, the staffer told the news site.

After the ceremony finished, employees quickly returned the equipment to where it came from, the site said.

"They took what they could. Something from the First Hospital. Something from the maternity hospital. The air cleaner didn't work at all; we don't know where they got it from, but then they took it away. Oxygen tanks from the maternity hospital. And then taken away," another employee told the news site. "And the new operating [room] is now closed again."

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