‘First photo after liberation’: Russian MMA wildman Datsik leaves prison after latest sentence for illegal border crossing
A Russian ex-MMA fighter whose past crimes have included murder threats, assault, robbery and fleeing a St. Petersburg psychiatric unit for asylum in Norway has left prison with his girlfriend after his latest stint behind bars.
“Runaway wrestler” Vyacheslav Datsik, whose years of shocking criminal activities have lasted longer than his seven-year heavyweight career did during his 20s, has been permanently freed from a Leningrad complex after serving 11 months on parole for attempting to illegally cross the Russian-Estonian border along the Narva River.
Datsik’s wife, Viktoriia, embraced the 43-year-old giant as he enjoyed a rare taste of freedom in the 13 years since he was initially detained for being involved in the armed robbery of mobile phone shops in St. Petersburg, the city where the pair posed together following his release.
The notorious former member of a banned nationalist party escaped from a local psychiatric unit in 2010, making his way to Norway via an extraordinary journey that is said to have begun when he burst out of a cell with his bare hands.
Doctors had detailed how Datsik believed Jesus Christ was a Mossad agent and he was “Red Tarzan” – the name he took during his cage-fighting and later kickboxing exploits, referring to the son of Slavic god Perun.
Datsik had crossed the border to Norway in a boat, worn Nazi symbols while describing himself as a racist and a “white warrior” and handed in a loaded weapon, later being jailed alongside two neo-Nazis who ran a tattoo shop where neighbors reported seeing them “fighting and boxing naked”.
Russian authorities applied for his extradition, and he alleged that he had been tortured by officials in his homeland, including the placing of electrodes on his genitals, as well as claiming that a life sentence would allow him to live more healthily.
Datsik spent five years in prison for the shop robberies. His supporters, including almost 34,000 followers on an Instagram page dedicated to him, have been kept updated by his partner on the social media platform during his most recent detainment.
His wife revealed that he had been transfered to the town of Fornosovo earlier this year, and she has issued a number of clearly angry posts on the page in recent months.
She appeared to accuse Datsik’s mother of leaking details to the media after a trial in the town decided to release him on parole last month, alleging that the prosecutor’s office had launched an appeal as a result of learning the news.
“I very much ask you that this woman…should not be attributed to our family with Slava,” she wrote to the media in a post.
“Did any of them help in the last 10 months? Slava will be out soon and I hope he will forgive you for your betrayal. My husband and I are leaving this rotten city on the day of his release.”
Datsik has joined his wife at glamorous events and visited gyms and fighting events during his detainment.
In July, she wrote that prison officials had “no complaints” and claimed that Datsik, a father-of-two from a previous relationship, had “really understood and realized his mistakes”.
“They let me in to see my husband,” she said after quarantine measures were eased, adding the hashtags “family”, “everything will be good” and “husband’s wife”. “We talked and kissed like normal people, not through glass.”
Several fans said they were keen to see the hulking combatant return to MMA.
“Rest and hard workouts, Vika,” wrote one. “Don’t let your strong man relax.”
Datsik shot to an instant degree of fame by beating future UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in the first round of his first fight with M-1 Global in 1999.
He won four of his next 13 fights, all in Moscow, before finishing on a second straight win at Fight Night 2 in Belorechensk in August 2006.
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