Russian researcher arrested after ‘stabbing colleague’ at remote Antarctic station

A Russian engineer who allegedly stabbed a fellow staff member at a remote Antarctica research station was on Wednesday under house arrest and awaiting trial, a court said.

Sergei Savitsky stabbed a colleague in the chest with a knife on October 9 in the canteen at Russia’s Bellingshausen Station, "with the aim of murder", the Saint Petersburg court press service said. 

The pair had spent six months working together at the isolated station 75 miles off the coast of Antarctica.

Savitsky, 54, gave himself up to police after flying to Saint Petersburg on October 20 via Chile, Uruguay and the Netherlands, local news site reported. A city district court ordered that he be held under house arrest on a charge of attempted murder.

Before being taken away by police, Savitsky told the news site he regretted his actions.

“It’s bad that everything worked out like this,” he said, lamenting that he would be unlikely to get further employment at the station. “Who needs a person who waves a knife around at the Antarctic?”

The wounded man was sent to Chile but is not in a serious condition, Saint Petersburg’s Fontanka news website reported.

He is to take a regular flight back to Russia, it said, citing the Institute of the Arctic and the Antarctic where Savitsky works.

Oleg Belogusov was sent to Chile after he was wounded in the incident but is not in a serious conditionCredit:

Twelve people are still working at the base, station head Alexander Klepikov told

“Nothing like this has ever happened before,” he said. 

Both men had reportedly spent more than six months at the site, where Savitsky was an electrical engineer.

His victim, named in Russian media as 52-year-old Oleg Beloguzov, is a gas and electric equipment welder.

Bellingshausen was founded in 1968 on King George Island, and is also known as Waterloo.

Russian television said it has one television channel – Russian state media’s Channel One – and a shaky Internet connection. However there is no shortage of vodka, which is shipped in.

Such crimes are rare however, despite the pressures of working in remote environments for long periods.

In 2010, a meteorologist at a weather station in the Russian Arctic was found guilty of murdering a colleague and trying to cover it up as a suicide. He was sentenced to 12 years.

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