By Vira Savchenko, Nadiya Savchenko’s sister
Translated by Julia Khodor Beloborodov and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Nadiya sent me another letter through Ilya Novikov [one of her lawyers]. I want to share some details of her life as she describes them (I’m happy! Nadiya’s at her best!):
“Another time I asked them why they don’t have coffee (at the pre-trial detention center/remand prison). They said that ‘prison is used to tea,’ and then added that ‘Coffee is more of your Western thing, in Russia people like tea.’ So I said: ‘Your whole Russia is a prison.’
A conflict arose between me and prison guards (that work at the facility), in general they are regular people and nice, and don’t treat me badly. But they have this one way of reporting that goes like this: ‘Citizen superior, there’s one prisoner in cell #60. On watch for the cell of Savchenko, N.V. reporting.’ And one conscientious first lieutenant (prison guard) is demanding that I say it at check-in time. I always refuse to have this stupidity pass my lips, and explain that he is a citizen of Russia, but I am a citizen of Ukraine, and not a ‘prisoner,’ but an illegally-kidnapped person from Ukraine, he’s not my superior (I have my own superiors), and to me he’s the same kind of criminal as they hold in their facility. We argue about this every morning, and they are already promising to put me in the hole for this.
When they put me in here, I started cleaning up the cell right away and started chasing a small spider to kill it, but then I thought what am I doing? That’s the only friend I have here, a living creature. Ever since, the spider lives with me and sometimes climbs on the table and takes a walk while I have lunch.”