Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Naval Officer Who Cursed Putin Portrait in Drunken Rant Discharged

A Russian military court has upheld the dismissal of a submariner who was discharged from the navy after a drunken rant in which he allegedly cursed his commanders and a portrait of President Vladimir Putin during a deployment to Syria.

The Southern Military District Court in the city of Rostov-on-Don on February 12 upheld the ruling by a military court in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea finding Captain Lieutenant Oleg Lavrenchuk's firing just.

Lavrenchuk, who served aboard a Russian submarine near the Syrian Mediterranean port city of Tartus, was arrested by military police in late June 2019 for being drunk.

According to court materials, Lavrenchuk aggressively resisted arrest, verbally insulted military police and commanders, and cursed at Putin's portrait inside police headquarters.

Lavrenchuk's lawyer, Sergei Gurin, said that although his client later expressed regret for his behavior, he was fired in August.

Gurin added that the court refused to accept Lavrenchuk's explanation that he got drunk because he was depressed after finding out that his long-term deployment in Syria had been unexpectedly prolonged by four months.

According to Gurin, Lavrenchuk has served in the Russian Navy for 17 1/2 years and only 18 months were remaining until his retirement.

The Russian military maintains its presence in Syria at the Tartus base and an air base in the coastal province of Latakia.

Moscow has given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government crucial support throughout an ongoing civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven millions from their homes since it began with a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2011.

  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.