On July 29, the funeral of Pavel Rokhlov took place in the Intercession Cathedral of Barnaul. He died from the consequences of a blow that was inflicted on him by former boxer Mikhail Startsev. The two-time world kickboxing champion Lilia Vorogushina also took part in the street fight that led to the tragedy. This event caused a wide resonance not only in the Altai Territory, but also beyond its borders.
According to the investigation, on the night of July 27, a scuffle with the participation of local residents took place near one of the entertainment establishments of Barnaul. During her 40-year-old Rokhlov received an injury incompatible with life. A criminal case was initiated on the grounds of a crime under Part 4 of Art. 111 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - "deliberate infliction of grievous bodily harm, resulting in the death of the victim by negligence." The perpetrator could face up to 15 years in prison.
Startsev was detained shortly after the incident. He was chosen as a preventive measure in the form of detention. In the near future, the 38-year-old boxer should be charged. The other participants in the scuffle remained free.
The Russian Boxing Federation said that Startsev had been involved in sports for five years, but since the beginning of the 2000s it no longer has anything to do with him. He was not a member of the Altai Territory national team and was not involved in professional boxing. Unlike Startsev, Vorogushina is a fairly titled athlete. She has the title of master of sports of international class, she has two gold medals in the world championships and victories in Russian competitions. She is currently a kickboxing judge.
The fight in which Rokhlov died was captured on a video made by random witnesses. It shows how at first Startsev with Vorogushina and another girl behave aggressively towards a man with a cane. Soon Rokhlov ran up to them and came into conflict with the athletes. At one point, he pushed Vorogushina away from him with force. Immediately after that, Startsev struck Rokhlov on the back of the head, from which he fell to the ground and hit his head on the asphalt. The victim died a few hours later. The medical examiner determined that the death was caused by an “attack using a blunt object”.
The testimonies of witnesses and the participants in the fight themselves about what happened on the night of July 26-27 differ. The wife of the deceased, Svetlana, told RT that the man with the cane was an invalid, whom she had previously met. Startsev's company, in a state of intoxication, began to beat him for reasons unknown to her. Rokhlov stood up for the victim and tried to protect him, and at that moment Vorogushina hit his wife, because of which he himself pushed the former athlete. For this, Startsev hit Rokhlov from the back. After that, the attackers tried to escape, but the police were able to catch them.
Rokhlova's widow is afraid that the culprit in the death of her husband will be able to escape punishment. She urged not only to punish him according to the severity of the law, but also to deprive Vorogushin of his sports titles, since an athlete, in her opinion, should not participate in fights.
“I am determined to achieve justice, because there is a lot of information that they are trying to whitewash the attackers in all possible ways. For me, justice is that the killer of Startsev should be imprisoned and not given any indulgences. I was contacted by a lot of people whom he beat, and they said that he had already been repeatedly discouraged. The story with this fight is not the first for him. We plan to go against him to the end. Such a person cannot walk calmly with impunity, ”Rokhlova said after the funeral.
Vorogushina fundamentally disagrees with such a description of events. In her Instagram, she said that the conflict was provoked by a man with a cane, whom she refused to consider disabled. According to Vorogushina, he was in a state of severe intoxication and behaved aggressively. At one point, he hit her friend with a cane, after which, together with Startsev, she tried to neutralize him. At that moment, other people took the side of the disabled person, including Rokhlov and his wife.
Vorogushina claims that the woman was the first to hit her and grab the collar of her jacket. After that, Rokhlov hit the former athlete, and only then Startsev dealt a fatal blow. Vorogushina said that she did not justify the actions of her friend, but noted that he only defended her. However, she soon deleted her Instagram profile.
The Governor of the Altai Territory Viktor Tomenko promised to follow the progress of the investigation. He stated that those responsible for the death of Rokhlov would have to bear criminal responsibility for this.
“This is just an egregious case, unacceptable cruelty. The crime received a serious public response. Law enforcement agencies reported to me on the situation and that the suspect had been arrested. A criminal case was initiated. I follow the progress of the investigation. I am convinced that the reaction to such cases should be the toughest, and the perpetrators should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. This should not be allowed in our region! I express my deep condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, ”Tomenko said in social networks.