Will continue begging, says Russian found seeking alms
The Russian tourist, Evgenii Berdnikov, “rescued” by the police and sent to Chennai after he sought alms at a Kancheepuram temple on Tuesday says he would continue begging and has no immediate plans to leave the country. This newspaper found the man with another tourist on South Boag road in T. Nagar. It seemed that the foreign national is not in any distress as feared initially.
The Russian consulate in Chennai had earlier told the media that he had not contacted them and that they will assist him in a proper way if he contacts them.
When asked as to why he has not contacted the Russian consulate in Chennai as suggested by the cops, Evgenii replied that they would be of no help to him and he wants to travel. His visa expires on November 22.
While military tensions prevail between Russia and Ukraine, the person Evgenii befriended on reaching the city on Wednesday is a Ukranian, Andre, with whom he was loitering on the city streets. They were returning after visiting a temple in T. Nagar. “I came with $8 and 50 Euros (approximately `4,000),” Eugene claimed, demanding `100 from people who recognise him from the news reports and approach him.
The Russian tourist said that he had exhausted the very little money he had. “I will continue asking people for money,” Evgenii said, adding that he has plans to visit Bengaluru next.
The 24-year-old man has no purpose of the visit and is of the free-spirited kind.