Russian boxer jailed for defending himself against armed attacker

A well-known Russian boxer Roman Romanchuk was sentenced to 18 months in prison for murdering a resident of Russia’s Far East region, Oleg Meshkov. The sentence was brought down in accordance with Article 118 of Russia’s Penal Code – “Murder Committed at Exceeding Limits of Required Self-Defense.”

Prosecutors were asking for eight years of imprisonment for the boxer. The athlete’s lawyers believed that he should be fully acquitted.

The conflict between the silver medalist of the World Boxing Championship, the repeated champion of Europe, and a 22-year-old man Oleg Meshkov, took place on July 28, 2008 in the center of Vladivostok (the capital of Russia’s Far East). Investigators say that Meshkov fired his traumatic pistol at Romanchuk during a fight. Romanchuk took the pistol away from the attacker and shot him at the head. Meshkov was hospitalized in a state of insensibility and died at hospital two days later.

The boxer says that he is not guilty of what happened to the young man.

“I went out of the café on July 28 and saw Oleg Meshkov, who was trying to flag down a car wielding a gun in his hand. He caught up with me and offered me to take a ride with him. He probably recognized me. I declined, but he continued following me and was acting in a very rude manner, he was trying to offend me. I tried to fight back but he threatened me with his gun. The last thing that I heard him saying was: “I will shoot you, boxer.” I do not remember what happened afterwards. I recovered when blood started flowing out of my mouth. The next moment I realized that I was handcuffed,” the boxer said during the trial.

The videotape presented to the court showed Meshkov shooting the boxer from the pistol. Romanchuk grabbed the man from behind, and another gunshot followed. Romanchuk’s fingerprints were not found on the pistol. Oleg Meshkov could have shot himself.

Roman Romanchuk (born June 3, 1979 in Ukraine) is a Ukrainian amateur boxer national gold medalist in 1995, who later adopted a Russian citizenship, to win Silver at super heavyweight world championships 2005, and helped the Russian team to win the 2005 Boxing World Cup.In 2007 he surprisingly lost to his compatriot and fellow southpaw Rakhim Chakhkeiv and couldn't go to the World Championships in Chicago.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov