A Russian judge who decided to spend his vacation moonlighting as a war correspondent in Syria survived being shot in the face and arm this week, Robert Mackey and Ellen Barry of The New York Times report.Sergey Aleksandrovich Berezhnoy, 57, was hit while accompanying the crew of the Abkhazian Network News Agency (ANNA) as it reported on a unit of the Syrian Army fighting rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Darayya.
A video recorded by the ANNA crew shows Berezhnoy—a former military intelligence officer and prize-winning writer—taking pictures before the incident and includes footage the emergency surgery he underwent in a Syrian military hospital.
Berezhnoy volunteered to “see with his own eyes and feel with his own soul” what was happening on the ground in Syria, according to the chairman of the Belgorod branch of the Union of Russian Writers.
The Times notes that his boss told a Russian news site he knew that Berezhnoy—the deputy chairman of a provincial arbitration court in the Russian city of Belgorod—went on vacation but had no idea where he had gone until his misadventure surfaced.
Here’s the video:
On Thursday Berezhnoy told the Voice of Russia: “Now I feel fine. They are making a dressing. Of course I am coming back to Russia. But I want to keep working here until I finished everything I planned. What is going on in Syria hurts me. They are destroying a culture, destroying a civilisation, destroying the flower of a nation. And it is very frightening. The whole world needs to fight for Syria.”
Berezhnoy is not the first foreigner to vacation in the Syrian muck. Toshifumi Fujimoto, 45, a bored trucker, took a vacation and embedded with rebel fighters in Aleppo to take pictures. Fujimoto, who described himself as “a combination of samurai and kamikaze,” told reporters that snuck into the country from Turkey.
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