Antarctica scientist allegedly stabs colleague for spoiling the endings of books

The forbidding landscape of the South Shetland Islands, where a researcher allegedly attacked his colleague for spoiling books.
(Natacha Pisarenko / Associated Press)
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A Russian scientist working in Antarctica is facing attempted murder charges after allegedly stabbing a colleague for telling him the endings of books he wanted to read.

Sergey Savitsky, an engineer, is accused of stabbing welder Oleg Beloguzov in the chest, the Sun reports. Beloguzov was evacuated to Chile for medical treatment, and his life is reportedly not in danger.

The stabbing took place at Bellingshausen Station, a Russian research station in the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. Savitsky, the alleged attacker, was taken to St. Petersburg and arrested.


The alleged attack was said to be the result of an argument between the two over Beloguzov’s habit of spoiling the endings of books that he’d read from the remote outpost’s library.

Although he faces criminal charges in the Russian city, Savitsky will probably have access to plenty of books that Beloguzov hasn’t already read.

The Russian news agency Interfax reported that Savitsky “surrendered on his own and without resistance to the station manager.”

Alexander Klepikov, the deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said of Savitsky and Beloguzov, “They are both professional scientists who have been working in our expeditions, spending yearlong seasons at the station. It is down to investigators to figure out what sparked the conflict, but both men are members of our team.”

Some reports suggest that alcohol was involved.