The son of a Ukrainian media mogul has fled the country after CCTV footage which purports to show him punching a woman and dragging her by her hair across the floor was posted on YouTube. Roman Landik, 37, escaped a wave of public outrage at the 14-minute film of him allegedly assaulting 20-year-old model Maria Korshunova at a trendy café in the eastern city of Luhansk.
She was treated in hospital for concussion, damaged vertebra and bruising. When originally questioned, Landik – son of one of Ukraine's most powerful men – reportedly said he had merely been teaching her some manners.
The case has gained prominence because it comes when the excesses of the children of the county's elite – known locally as mazhory or rich brats – has become an issue of national concern.
Among a spate of incidents, Vitaliy Faingold, the son of a city council deputy, received a two-year suspended sentence after he killed a 25-year-old motorcyclist while driving a Bentley at high speed.
The significance of the Landik case, said Yaroslav Minkin of the Ukraine human rights group Postup, was the existence of the video to show the extent of the alleged assault.
"If Landik is appropriately punished then top officials may think twice in the future about committing a serious offence, " he said.
The incident is said to have happened on the night of 3 July after Ms Korshunova refused to accept a drink which the recently married Landik insisted on buying her.
After the uploading of the video, comment spread through local media and internet forums. A warrant was issued for Landik's arrest, prompting his flight to Russia. He was arrested a few days later and is now awaiting extradition.
His father, Vladimir Landik, whose security guards are alleged to have once beaten up a police officer who stopped him for speeding, admitted failing to "properly educate" his son.