Bank ‘Sorry’ for Refusing Loan to Disabled Man

A prominent Russian bank apologized to a man who lost his legs and genitalia due to army hazing for allegedly withdrawing a pre-approved loan upon seeing him, media reported.

The withdrawal was not due to Andrei Sychyov’s disability, but to the fact that he did not represent himself at a meeting with bank clerks, prompting suspicions that he was not the person that the loan was really intended for, VTB24 bank’s representatives said, reported on Thursday.

Bank officials in the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals, where Sychyov resides, said earlier that they do not hand out loans to people with severe disabilities, online tabloid reported.

Sychyov, who was seeking a car loan for a Subaru Forrester, threatened to sue for 1.6 million rubles ($51,000) in damages. It remained unclear whether he intended to withdraw the suit.

Sychyov, who works as a video editor on regional television, obtained a loan at another unspecified bank, but VTB24 proposed a better loan by means of apology, said.

Sychyov made national headlines in 2006, when he had both legs and his genitalia amputated after a prolonged hazing session at his military unit. The incident highlighted the problems of the Russian Army, notorious for its widespread unofficial practices of abusing conscripts.

Russia’s disabled are often discriminated in the country, which lacks infrastructure for and offers insufficient opportunities to people with special needs.


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