A doctor at a St. Petersburg cancer clinic claims she 'has never heard' of a charity that allegedly raised funds for the hospital at a fundraising concert in December that famously featured a solo singing act from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The lavish event, attended by numerous Hollywood stars, was hosted at the St. Petersburg Ice Arena by the unregistered Federation charity in aid of children with cancer.
Elmira Boichenko, head of the leucosis chemotherapy ward at St. Petersburg's Children's Cancer Hospital 1 - one of the three hospitals meant to receive donations - told Radio Liberty that she had never heard of the charity.
Federation told RIA Novosti the event was never meant to be a fundraiser.
"We didn't raise money," spokesperson Kristina Snikers said. "We didn't even sell tickets for the concert."
This contradicts an earlier claim of co-organizer (and buddy of Putin) Vladimir Kiselyov, who told a RIA Novosti press conference prior to the event that the tickets would go on sale "for advertising purposes."
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Radio Liberty the money raised was meant for three cancer hospitals - one in Moscow and two in St. Petersburg.
But a woman whose 13-year-old daughter is being treated for cancer in one of the two St. Petersburg hospitals complained last week that she had seen "no money and no help."
Olga Kuznetsova said the Federation "is not a registered charity and has no website."
"No one knows anything about it," she added.
Putin's rendition of Blueberry Hill gained a standing ovation from the likes of Mickey Rourke, Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner and Monica Belucci and became an instant YouTube sensation.
MOSCOW, March 8 (RIA Novosti)