Yes, Boris is working with Anya, my half sister, and Simon, an old family friend, and they are trying to raise money to pay for his lengthy hospital stay. Bob became ill when on an SF convention in Kiev and was put in the hospital, where he has been on a ventilator. His situation is improving, but there is a long, hard road ahead to recovery. He really wants to come home. Right now, it looks as though there is a possibility that the Consulate may help bring Bob over, but as I understand, that will be a loan from the gov't. And once here, Bob will need a lot of medical care and rehabilitation.
So, no, it's not a scam. I'm not sure why no-one's trying to raise money outside of Russia. If an authorised appeal starts, I'll happily link to it.