Magazine article Russian Life

Leading Eye Doctor Perishes

Magazine article Russian Life

Leading Eye Doctor Perishes

Article excerpt

Doctor businessman, politician and humanitarian

Prominent international eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fedorov was killed on June 2 when his CH-41 helicopter crashed at around 8 pm at the Northern Tushino airfield. All three members of the crew were also killed. The French-made helicopter belonged to the eye clinic which Fedorov founded.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov called Fedorov's death "an incalculable loss for all of Russian medicine." President Vladimir Putin said it was a "huge loss for Russia 2."

Fedorov and his clinic (opened in 1986) were a showcase of new capitalism in Gorbachevian Russia. Within two years of the clinic's opening, Fedorov was prospering, carrying out 1200 eye surgeries (mainly radial keratotomies) per year.

But Fedorov was also a politician. His bold, audacious speeches at the USSR Congress of Peoples Deputies (he was elected to the first Congress, in 1989) were often decisive for the fate of democracy in Russia. …

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