Winter in Petersburg in 1839 was with strong thaws. Sentry Postnikov, a soldier of the Izmaylovo Regiment, stood at his post. He heard that a man came to the wormwood and called for help. The soldier for a long time did not dare to leave his post, because this was a terrible violation of the Charter and almost a crime. The soldier was tormented for a long time, but in the end he made up his mind and pulled out the sink. Then a sled passed by, in which an officer was sitting. The officer began to understand, and in the meantime Postnikov quickly returned to his post. The officer, realizing what had happened, delivered the rescued to the guard. The officer reported that he had saved the drowning man. The rescued could not say anything, since he lost his memory from the experience, and did not really understand who was saving him. The case was reported to Lieutenant-Colonel Svinin, a zealous servant.
Svinin considered himself obliged to report to Chief Police Officer Kokoshkin. The case was widely publicized.
An officer who pretended to be a rescuer was awarded a medal “for the salvation of those who perished.” Private Postnikov was ordered to carve before the ranks of two hundred rods. Punished Postnikov on the same overcoat, on which he was seized, was transferred to the regimental infirmary. Lieutenant Colonel Svinin ordered to give the punished pound sugar and a quarter of a pound of tea.
Postnikov replied: “I am very pleased, thank you for fatherly mercy.” He was actually satisfied, sitting for three days in the punishment cell, he expected much worse than he could be awarded a military court.