- Doctors gave Vladimir Krutov, now 36, a one in a million chance of survival
- Medics say attempting to remove the bullet would almost certainly cause death
- It left a hole measuring more than an inch in diameter at the base of his skull
A Russian ex-policeman has revealed how he has lived with a bullet lodged in his brain for ten years after he was shot by a gang.
Doctors gave Vladimir Krutov, 36, a one in a million chance of survival.
Extraordinary X-rays reveal the bullet remains lodged at the top of his head after surgeons refused to remove it due to almost certain risk of death during surgery.
The bullet was fired from a 7.62-caliber Nagan revolver and 'entered the base of the skull and passed through my entire brain', Krutov said.
Fellow policeman Dmitry Voronin, then 26, was killed in the St Peterburg shootout after the officers stumbled across an imminent gang robbery of a gaming centre.
A fight ensured after the officers challenged the three men, and Krutov remembers his colleague shouting that there was a gun.
The pair were repeatedly punched - Vladimir suffered 20 blows - before their own handcuffs were used on them.
They were forced to the ground before convicted murderer Vyacheslav Vorozhtsov shot Voronin at short range, his blood drenching Vladimir.
'There was a shot, I heard a clap - and something very hot sprinkled on me,' he said.
'Five seconds, another clap - and my lights went out.
'They only came on again nine days later- in Alexandtrovsky Hospital, where I was operated on, had trepanation, and came out of a coma.'
The bullet inside his head measures three quarters of an inch by one third of an inch and left a hole more than one inch in diameter in the base of his skull.
Doctors have been left astonished that the police sergeant - who took invalidity pension after the shooting - has gone on to live a normal life.
A year-and-a-half ago he married wife Marina, 36, and is now the proud father of a five-month-old daughter Varvara.
He said: 'I was given a one in a million survival chance.
'It was unrealistic to survive when a bullet passes through the whole brain, damaging all parts.
'When I was in a coma, I had a heart failure - and underwent clinical death.'
He lost more than half his blood, his jaw was broken in four places, and his nose was also smashed.
'I thought I was in the next world. I was completely paralysed, only the fingers on my left hand worked,' he said.
'People walked around in white gowns, masks.'
Yet two months later in October 2010 he walked unaided out of the hospital - 'I'm a former sportsman and I fight for my targets. The doctors could not believe their eyes.'
Six top neurosurgeons examined him and decided removing the bullet would lead to death.
Vladimir is banned from flying or going to the sauna but he can run nearly a mile, even though he suffers serious headaches.
'When I go and collect someone from the airport, and go through security, I always cause problems.
'But I tell them: "I've got a bullet in my brain".'
He said: 'In the maternity hospital, when I took my daughter in my hands for the first time, I said to my wife: "This is what I remained alive for."'