"Lefortovo" and "Guantanamo" are very similar"05.02.2022
The Telegram channel of the Cheka-OGPU and Rucriminal.info continue a series of publications with the memoirs of a man who spent three years in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center. Today, exclusively for our publication, the former prisoner will talk about the third day of his stay in this prison shrouded in secrets. You can read about the first and second days here.
Об этом сообщает Преступная Россия
After a night of talking with a new cellmate named Aziz, I realized that when they are transferred to another cellmate, the first day of getting to know each other is spent in long conversations.
Sidelets, who has been in Lefortovo for more than a year, already feels comfortable and at home here.
And if a person “dropped in” from the outside, the first communication takes even longer, newcomers always have a lot of questions, and you have to calm them down, try to relieve tension, talk for a long time. But the prisoner, who has been here for more than a year, already feels at home in the cell, in the comfort created, from the funds that are available. I, in turn, ended up in the cell where my new neighbor named Aziz was already sitting.
First of all, I was interested in how it is generally arranged inside here, how tough the regime is, whether they beat you, whether they require the fulfillment of some incomprehensible requirements, as in the “red” pre-trial detention centers, where a strict regime is established. The management of such institutions is trying to do everything possible to keep the inmates in fear and unquestioning obedience, for such institutions it is important that every time the cell staff visits, the officer on duty in the cell makes a report, full name, cell number and, depending on the whims of the authorities, they may demand call the article, or the phrase “I have no complaints or questions”, although this is a useless requirement, but there is a sense in it — submission, and not the implementation of any rules. When I realized that there were no such installations in Lefortovo, and that you can sleep during the day, and the employees don’t really bother if you don’t have any problems, if you don’t try to communicate with other cameras. And in general, all my fears were dispelled, since I did not want to be where they could beat me and try to humiliate my dignity.
“Do you have any idea what you went for?”
Aziz told me before going to bed that he had two articles 228 and 229, according to him, his accomplice brought heroin, 15 kg, from Central Asia, and when a car arrived in which there was a cache, he had to get all the goods from the tank of the car and hide him in a hiding place, and he received a reward for this simple procedure, $ 1,500. I, who found myself within these walls under the threat that I would be sewn into the article “terrorism”, and much more, I thought for a long time about how a person could even agree to participate in such a deal when he is threatened with 15 years to life imprisonment.
In the morning after getting up, looking at his sleepy face, I asked him the question “Do you have any idea what you went for?” It was important for me to understand how a person agrees to risk his best years of life for such pennies. Indeed, at that time, even working as a taxi driver in Moscow, it was possible to earn more than those that he agreed to. I have always believed that if you risk freedom, then it must be for money, for which you will not regret your time here, or it is the protection of family, children, or honor and dignity. In my opinion, he did not understand and did not realize the essence of everything that was happening to him, for him it was just another day, the same as in the wild, or such indifference comes after some period spent within these walls.
I had to walk in a tight robe
The robe (uniform) that is issued in exchange for the seized clothes was small for me, it was very uncomfortable in it, and in order to get your clothes, you need to write a statement addressed to the boss, the essence of which is as follows:
“I ask you to give me clothes and the following household items from the warehouse:
1. Denim trousers
2. T-shirts available
4. Briefs 4pcs
5. Travel bag, etc.,
And I wrote that they would give me all my things back and thought that they would bring them right today, but it wasn’t there, and it turns out that getting my personal clothes from the warehouse, at Lefortovo, is a whole bureaucratic procedure, long a month, to submit only to get a passport in Russia, the waiting time is 1 month, and in Europe the right to drive a car can be obtained via the Internet in 1 week and knowing all these details, it was so funny to waste paper on such an insignificant procedure. Further, this statement is signed by the head with the resolution “to issue”, then this paper is brought back to the cell for signature on that or the next day, and after this difficult guarantee, 30 days can be counted, according to the law, so that they give me my things from the warehouse, if even I only need 1 pair of socks or briefs. The same fate awaits things that are transferred by relatives, they are transferred to the warehouse and it is necessary to write an application for them to be issued, and count 30 days, these are not products. I waited 21 days to receive my clothes, and all this time I walked in a robe, and in the rain and slush I walked in it, and it is impossible to wash and dry it, because no change of clothes. The meaning of the so-called moral torture, or psychological technique, lies in this, in order to create maximum discomfort in the first days of getting here, and in such an incomprehensible state, when your clothes smell of sweat, when there is no normal sleep, in a cold cell, without normal shoes , without the usual food, they are summoned for interrogation to the operas. It is easier to persuade such a person to the necessary testimony, he believes every word, they promise to let him out right away.
Prisoner of Guantanamo
A Guantanamo prisoner told in his book how they were given a uniform that was specially dried with soap, and when it was dressed and worn, the whole body itched from the dried powder. In fact, Lefortovo and Guantanamo are very similar to each other. This stress is created, among other things, due to the fact that they are not allowed to get to the prisoner a lawyer, citing the fact that there are no free offices, they are also not allowed to give food to relatives, they come up with a variety of reasons not to accept food and other household items. In Lefortovo, many fall from a good and cozy atmosphere, into that horror that I described above, and it is very difficult and impossible to break oneself and accept this, in the first weeks for sure.
The inmate’s wife yesterday was choosing a Birkin bag for herself on the Champs Elysees, and now she is standing near the transmission window and begging her husband to accept sweets or oranges
A general or a mayor who has been saluted by hundreds of officers in the morning comes here on equal terms, he is dressed in a uniform that does not fit him, he does not have a change of underwear, socks, usual food, and he is summoned for interrogation, some major or lieutenant colonel, and begins interrogation with him, this is the most comfortable environment for those who work with him, and at the same time the most uncomfortable for the inmate. The wife of such an inmate yesterday chose a Birkin bag for herself on the Champs Elysees, stands near the transmission window, and begs to accept sweets or oranges, and they come up with various reasons for her, for example, sweets in foil, or there is a spring in the handle, or there are arch supports in the shoes or laces. And all this is necessary in the first weeks. I would recommend that all officials, businessmen and their wives learn how to make transfers in advance, undergo some kind of training on this topic. Once one of the wives of businessmen who ended up in Lefortovo published a post on the social network, where she sobbed about the fact that she had not been able to pass food to her husband for a week, to which I answered her and explained to the smallest detail what to do, to be accepted and how assemble so that they would not be returned back, after which her first recommendation to me was to write an “instruction for Lefortovo”.
In other pre-trial detention centers there is an online store where you can order anything, write e-mails, but in Lefortovo this is not the case, and only for the reason of creating maximum discomfort for the inmates. By the way, I received my first transmission after 2 weeks and all this time I ate gruel.
After a morning walk, the feeder opened and a gloomy, red-bearded uncle with a long face asked me my last name, which I called, demanded to get ready for a photo. It was fingerprinting, they take a photo on a card, and take prints, and this procedure is performed by each pre-trial detention center and colony upon the arrival of prisoners. After the prints, I was returned to the cell and my cellmate and I continued to listen to the radio, and I asked questions, which in my first week were countless, and with his lack of knowledge of the Russian language, this was a difficult test for him.
“Others dream of such food”
In Lefortovo and in general in other institutions, there are 4 shifts of employees, and they alternate every day, i.e., you know exactly what shift will be in 3 days or tomorrow, and each shift is called differently, each cell gives them their nicknames. Also with food, there are 4 types of menus, for example:
Day 1: Breakfast: Semolina porridge; Lunch: Shchi and Ragout with fish; Dinner: pasta with chicken;
Day 2: Breakfast: millet porridge; Lunch: fish soup and cabbage rolls; Dinner: Cut with chicken;
Day 3: Breakfast: pasta with milk; Lunch: Chicken soup and Ragout with fish; Dinner: Cabbage with chicken;
Day 4: Breakfast: Oatmeal with milk; Lunch: Solyanka soup and millet porridge; Dinner: buckwheat with chicken.
For each dinner, each inmate was given 30 grams of sugar. From the 1st day of each month, the order and the menu changes, the dishes do not change, only the order of these dishes changes and sometimes another type of porridge, buckwheat or rice is added. The only rule is that there is always fish in the dinner. And if you ask any other prisoner who sits in any other pre-trial detention center and show him, the diet that is in Lefortovo will drool, because they don’t dream of such food there. In other pre-trial detention centers, food is a biomaterial to stuff the stomach with something, and in no way can it be called food. Good food is not an excuse, or a plus, to say “thank you” to the leadership of the Federal Penitentiary Service, this is done only so that people do not complain and do not demand the fulfillment of their legal rights, and food according to GOST is the right of every prisoner. If we compare my first night in the transit prison of Ryazan, where water flowed along the walls, where there was an unbearable stench, where the cockroaches ran across the table, and it was terribly dirty, and the gruel was terrible, from the word at all, but I slept there in the dark, as it was possible to unscrew the lamp, and it was my sweetest dream in the last 3 years, with free conditions in "Lefortovo", good food and addressing to "YOU", I would love to spend these 3 years in the same shipment. So, when they talk about Lefortovo, about the conditions that have been created there, and praise them for it, I can only say one thing: these conditions are made to make it easier for the Chekists to work and only for this, about the prisoners they think last. And so my adaptation to the new reality continued, which I will discuss later.
To be continued