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Revelations of a Russian woman suspected of cruel murder: an interview from an American prison

Victoria Nasyrova, 41 year, a citizen of Russia, now located in the prison complex Rikers islandand specifically in the women's prison center Rose M. Singer, is accused by the 31 act on serious (class D), and less serious crimes. She has already been found guilty in two shoplifting cases, and on August 15 in a Brooklyn court County Supreme Court It will undergo its first trial of serious crimes committed in the United States - poisoning and attempted poisoning. Also at the moment she is accused of a brutal murder committed in Russia several years ago.

In the past six months, her story has become the loudest in the Russian-speaking space of America. However, as practice has shown, not only Russian-speaking.

Mitchell Abramson, spokesperson Department of Correction NYC, when I got a ride from the parking lot Rikers island on the territory of the prison, having previously written out a pass for me, he said, getting behind the wheel: “She is now like a celebrity. Everyone goes to her. Everyone wants to talk to her. What are you going to talk to her about, Nata, I don’t know Russian? ”He asked. “About the prison. About life before prison ”, - I could not specify my answer.

The interview took place in Russian, under the supervision of Mitchell and another lady officer. After the interview to my question, “Tell me, Mitchell, can I get some alternative opinion from your officers about this prisoner? You understand that what she said - the words of just one person? ". Mitchell took a pause to find out if it was possible, and subsequently wrote that they could not fulfill my request.

In general, the preparation of a reporter's visit to Rikers island It took about three months. The main difficulty was correspondence with the press office. Department of Correction NYC, approval of the date and time of the visit and double signing of the prisoner's consent to the interview (to which she agreed easily, but by the time of the approval of the exact date, her previous consent had expired).

So the story that everyone wrote about is a little bit ForumDaily I was able to hear firsthand: from the lips of the accused. This was the first time she was allowed to speak for so long - an hour.

Why did you give up the photographer?

Firstly, I have already been photographed enough. Secondly, for the last two weeks I have had an allergic reaction - I don’t know what, or to the powder, I worked in laundry, or something else - in general, my face today is not in the best light. After what they wrote about me, I would not want to look not very photogenic either. Therefore, I would not want to be filmed.

And how do you find out what they wrote about you?

As they say, the world is not without good people. I call from time to time at will, there are people with whom I communicate, and they tell me.

Not so long ago in a telephone conversation you told me that you already know how much approximately you are serving. How do you know this and what are your versions built on?

My version is based on a conversation with my legal aid a lawyer. In addition, while I was in prison, I pretty much grew adept in the jurisprudence of America, and comparing my charges and my case with the affairs of other prisoners, I tend to think that my lawyer was right when told me the approximate time of my conclusion.

And what is this term?

He assumes that they will give me one CDR, that is, 8 months. And I'll be here six. That is, if everything goes well and nothing changes, and there are still no victims of my terrible actions, then in September I will probably be released.

I was somewhat struck by your acceptance of yourself. You are not trying to deny that you were involved in poisoning, that you met with men, hating them, you look pretty confident in general and are not trying to justify anything. Can you describe how you feel to the world and how do you perceive your arrest in this sense?

First, the fact that I do not deny my involvement in the poisoning is a lie. Quite the opposite, I have always said that I did not participate in any poisoning. It sounds strange to me. In my classical understanding, poisoning is when a person deliberately puts some kind of poison into the food of other people. I didn’t do anything, and if law enforcement agencies have the opposite information, then they have to prove it. As for my relationships with men - well, fortunately, there were decent men in my life. There were and are. But the overwhelming majority does not evoke any positive emotions in me.

In composing these questions, I was guided by various information sources. ВWe said that you hate men, but, nevertheless, at the time of your arrest you were living with your boyfriend - how do these things fit together?

We lived with him in a certain ... order, let's say, in a relationship. I answered his request not to show our relations in public, therefore the people who saw us, so to speak, outside, thought we were an ordinary couple. Well, some suggested that we might have some kind of unusual relationship, because I could afford a rather harsh tone with him in front of people, but mostly we looked like an ordinary couple. And what happened behind closed doors was another story.

Why do you think he asked you about it?

Probably because he is afraid.

And what were these such relationship, which are shy to tell people?

It was the relationship between the woman who stands at the head and the man who stands deep below. Strange, now I use these words, and they seem to me to be so funny, read from books ... but nonetheless.

Female domination?


Victoria Nasyrova. Photo: Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the city of Krasnodar

Tell me, please, at the moment there are people who support you morally, and do you need it?

I don’t need anybody’s help at all: neither moral, nor financial, nor legal, nor any other, first of all. Secondly, there are people, of course, who support me - this is, first of all, my family, and thank God, thanks to people whom I did not know before my arrest and who turned out to be new friends in my life, and ... They help me in this. I call my family through several phones and talk to them, and I know that they are doing well - this is quite enough for me. I don't need anything else, I have two jobs here, and everything I need for a fairly comfortable life in prison, as strange as it sounds, I have.

Here is laundry - the first one, and the second what?

I clean special clinicbesides, with the officers with whom I work, I have excellent relations. Most officers are, yes, people of a narrow mind. They believe that if you are here, then you are at least below them. It's not like that at all. There are officers who understand that, as the Russian proverb says, “don’t excuse yourself from money and prison”. There are officers who understand that not all those who find themselves here are notorious criminals and scoundrels. And these people treat with understanding and try to somehow help, to alleviate some of the hardships of prison life.

Therefore, I have not been crying for a long time, although my friend, whom we met here, she keeps telling me: "I pray every morning and every evening and ask God to give me at least half of your strength." I am not praying. At first I prayed, but then I stopped, because I look at those people who are constantly reading the Bible here, talking to God - and it’s somehow strange to me that in order to find God, people need to go to prison.

Tell me, what were your life plans when you came to the USA? What did you want from life then, did you want to arrange a personal life and how exactly?

When I arrived in the USA two and a half years ago, it was my life plans to return to Russia in two weeks.

What was the period of two weeks connected with? Why two?

And I came here ... In spite of everything that was written about and about what they said, that I came here, secretly crossing the US border with Mexico and fled - no, many people in Russia, my whole family, and law enforcement agencies were very good aware that I am going to travel to the USA. I came here for two weeks to do my personal affairs related to my small business and return. I had absolutely no plans to stay here. I arrived with a small travel bag.

And how did it happen that you stayed?

And when I arrived here, those people who work in the police in Russia, they probably thought that maybe I would not return, and too vigorously launched their activities and I realized that I was no longer to return. It's much better for me to stay here.

However, there was information that Interpol is looking for you.

Yes, this is correct information. I have been on the Interpol search list since about the summer of 2016.

The announcement of the search from the website of Interpol. Photo:

And they write that with 2014.

I will not argue here ... Because I did not track, to be honest, this. You know, as a person who knows what is true and what is not true, I was not interested in reading a lie.

That is, you want to say that you absolutely legally entered the country?

Yes of course. It's all easy to check.

In November 2014, did this happen?

No ... Although, wait a minute. Yes, in November 2014.

Have you flown to JFK?


And they stayed because they wanted some security?

Yes. Moreover, after the New Year in 2015, in January, I flew to Mexico for two weeks, and just as calmly returned to JFK, passed through customs control ...

Tell me, what is the reason for the warrant F deportation? (warrant for the subsequent, after the trial, deportation - auth.)?

I do not know.

He is, he can be seen on the Internet in the public domain, and I personally saw him. Therefore, I want to understand: if you are really legally in the country - where did it come from?

This "warrant" is probably because I am accused of a rather serious crime in Russia. And maybe the law enforcement agencies and the US police believe that I am a rather dangerous person, and they want to get rid of me from sin.

What do you think people in prisons need to know about people who have never been to prison?

Hmm ... Good question. You need to know that here, first of all, you need to rely only on yourself. And you can't trust anyone. In principle, everything is the same as in ordinary life outside the prison.

What is a beautiful woman in prison? What are her feelings and thoughts? Maybe there is something specific?

Yes. I miss simple feminine joys - manicure, pedicure, styling. Perfumes and cosmetics.

Tell me, have you ever imagined that you might be here?

You know, 25 years ago I watched a film based on Sydney Sheldon's “Tomorrow Never Comes”. It tells the story of a woman who was imprisoned by some fatal mistake. When she was in prison, she lost everything she had, including the baby she was pregnant with. Her fiancé turned away from her ... And when she came out, she turned out to be of no use to anyone, and she was found by one well-bred old man who offered her a job - to steal treasures. And this film shocked me so much when I watched it, I thought: “Wow, what a strong woman: she went through this, came out and ... Let it be illegal, but still ...”. And when I went to prison, for some reason I remembered this film. That is, I never dreamed of repeating the life path of this heroine, but nevertheless, a similar situation happened in my life.

No, of course, I never thought that I would go to jail. Especially if you look back at my whole past life - quite successful, interesting, positive ...

Do you think that most of the accusations addressed to you are defamation?

I believe that most of the accusations that I have been charged with are not covered from that point of view.

Can you tell us more about this?

I can not, because all this is still in the process. I have not had a single trial on this case. That is, every time I arrived at the appointed time, my court was simply postponed to the next date. I didn’t even see the judge and I don’t know who my accuser is.

In theory, the next meeting should be August 15, am I saying correctly?

Yes. And on August 15, I hope that something will get off the ground, besides, I have a burning, irresistible desire to talk with my accuser, because the salvation of drowning people is the work of the drowning people themselves, and I have some information, which, in turn, will be very interesting to law enforcement agencies and can in the same way quite fatally affect the lives of other people who are now at large.

Do you feel some kind of subjective attitude of others?

See, I have a scratch on my face? That I had a fight. For the first time in my life, I fought.

Because of which?

Well, here ... How can I tell you? You know, I have the impression that I have a VIP box in an amazing place, with all the amenities, and the show is such shit, sorry for my French ...

This is where people are, on 98%, I don’t know how correct it will be to say ... Well, such. They are closer to animals than to people. They have no elementary ideas about education, about tact, about communication. That is, if I start talking about it to them, they will look at me as if they are crazy.

Here people are talking using about 10 words in turn that I learned well, and when I once said this to one officer, another officer who heard it said: “Ummm ... Viktoriya, your English is so much better“. I say: "Yes, I have a very good teacher here“. People have been and treat me a little strangely, because I lead a rather isolated lifestyle. I hardly talk to anyone ...

Is it even possible in prison?

Yes. I practically do not talk to anyone, besides, I work: I leave in the morning, then I have a short break and come in the evening. I take a shower and go to bed. In the morning I wake up and again, now I want to ask me to be given another job to be less in my compartment where the 50 man lives, the 50 women live. I do sports every day, I get up at 6 in the morning, do exercises for an hour and a half.

Are there any conditions for this?

Well, they already treat me more or less leniently, because I am a fairly calm prisoner. I don’t make fights. Yes, I have several conflicts here with the captain and with other officers. But this is due to some kind of ... personal mutual rejection. I do not violate the rules, that is: I was told to wear a uniform - I will wear a uniform. They said to braid my hair - I will braid my hair, it's not difficult for me, I'm not going to complicate my life with this trifle. Other prisoners looked at me a little strangely, one even said that perhaps the police had even sent me here so that I could find out some secrets and then tell them. Everyone judges to the best of his ability. I have several people with whom I communicate well here, these are two Russian women, a couple of Puerto Ricans, an American - people who are at a higher stage of development.

In general, a lot in the center of Russian-speaking women?

At the moment there are 5 people. I live with one of them - I mean, in one compartment, on the other I work, the third is a real crazy woman, the fourth lives in a building with high secrecy, and I see her only once a week when I come to change clothes, but we communicate with her, we go with her to jewish servise, for the Jewish holidays this year. She's a pretty smart, interesting girl. And one more - does not give the impression of a pleasant person, I limit myself only to “hello” and “goodbye”.

And how do you think yourself: here, you say "real crazy". If she is really crazy, why is she not in the appropriate medical facility?

And there are a lot of such people here. There are a lot of people who are really crazy: they have either bipolar mental disorder or progressive schizophrenia ... They are taken from time to time to the hospital, which I also visited.

By the way, why did you find yourself there?

I've taken an increased amount of pills here. But I had no desire ... As a person who has elementary medical education, I can still calculate how dangerous or not dangerous it is. In general, I drank the pills not because I was in some kind of despair or wanted to lay hands on myself, not seeing any gap in my life - no, I drank the pills quite prudently: I knew that if I was taken to the hospital, how I have already been told by other prisoners that they will give me the opportunity to call my family in Russia. And - yes, I drank the pills, they took me to the hospital and there social worker She helped me to contact my family, who at that time had an idea of ​​what was happening to me, only on the basis of newspapers and television.

I spent ten days in the hospital and met two amazing people there. One of them is the Russian nurse Irina, who on Easter day brought me a piece of Easter consecrated in the church, and in general took an active part in my life. And another guy, he comes all the time to the hospital in the psychiatric department, conducts so-called art therapy with the prisoners who are there. He is also Russian-speaking, he talked a lot with me, and I am very grateful to him, he directed my thoughts in the right direction, let's say. So I went to the hospital, looked at the real madmen there, came back, I lived for one month in (onest be - the title is illegible - ed.) This is an era for, let's say, a little bit crazy, looked at people there, and all the officers wondered why I was here, I said: "Yes, I am not crazy."

It reminded me of an anecdote about how, you know, a meeting of the medical board is held in the madhouse, all the madmen were gathered in the assembly hall, and the head physician of the madhouse speaks and says: "We will build a swimming pool next year!" All the psychos are applauding, and one person is standing near the doorway and, with folded hands, just looks. Listens. Then the head physician says: “We will open a gym next year!” - the madmen simply rave in applause - and this one stands, listens, does not applaud. The head doctor continues to grovel, in the end, he was interested in why this man does not react violently, asks "Why don't you applaud?" "And I'm not crazy, I'm an electrician." I had the same impression.

What were these pills and where did you most importantly take them?

And they give me! They give me medicine.

Is it a sleeping pill?

Yes, this is a sleeping pill and a drug for depression, because they all think ... colossal money is spent here, and it is spent so stupidly ... Pills for sleep, for depression and God knows what are given to everyone, you just have to say that you sleep badly and you experience some kind of phantom pain and so on, and so on. You will be bombarded with drugs! I was given these pills and, of course, I did not drink them. I have no depression. And if I cried during the first two weeks of my imprisonment, then I cried not because I was depressed: I cried from impotence. Because I was so stupid here, I wasted a lot of time so stupidly - but only for these reasons. And when a doctor ... well, he is not a doctor, he phisical assistant, asked me “why are you crying”, I wanted to ask him “are you crazy, or what?”. I'm in jail! This place in itself disposes for a person to have some negative manifestations of emotions. It would be strange if I was happy, jumping for fun, dancing and singing songs. That would be strange. It seems to me that if a person is put into prison from free will, especially under the circumstances in which I found myself, it seems to me that it is quite expected that he will cry, that he will feel sadness, longing ...

You say "I got stupid." Specify, please, why “stupid” and why “caught”. As far as I know, you were being watched. quite professional

Well, I didn't hide especially. I kept a fairly active profile on Facebook, many people knew about my location, including the girl who hired this private detective. Therefore ... How violently everyone spoke about him, what a professional he is - if I were encrypted, I would change apartments, addresses, addresses, passwords, change my appearance, and he found me anyway - then yes, and it was not difficult to find me that way ... “Gotcha” - I mean, not in the sense that I needed to do something differently so that I would not be arrested, I was caught - I mean, in some kind of stupid dirty story that less, mostly blinded with my own hands.

ForumDaily also interviewed Detective G. Weisberg, whose efforts Victoria was caught and taken into custody. Read in the material A New York detective told how he caught a Russian woman wanted for murder.

A person is logically responsible for his actions, right?

You know, if everyone was responsible for their actions, they would not have had enough prisons.

Tell me, would you like to return to Russia?

Would love to. If I, at least on 50%, was sure that my return to Russia guarantees me safety ... I am not afraid of the investigation that is being carried out there. Only one thing scares me: that I will never achieve the truth there.

And the truth is that you did not kill this woman?

Of course. The truth is that I did not kill. And, as they later wrote that they suspected me of killing a few more people ... I can’t prove it after all the big machine they started there. That is, whatever money I paid to the best lawyer, there is a fairly rigid system built. If the system needs a person to remove, it will be removed, no matter what happens. Whoever he is, whatever he says, and whatever forces stand behind him. Here, in principle, democracy does not flourish too much. At first I thought that in America there really is freedom-equality, but now I understand that facts are being rigged here, corruption is also here, and there are dishonest representatives of law enforcement bodies. All this is exactly the same here. And if they need a high-profile case, then they will do a high-profile case and they will not look at anything, not at the Human Rights Bill, or at the constitution, or at anything.

You say that you came for two weeks to resolve the issue with your business. What was this business?

On top of everything I did in Russia, I had a small business. This is not the first time I have come to the United States, and, in addition to the United States, I have also been to Italy, and Spain, France, and Germany. I bought quite expensive things here - bags, branded clothes, and then I sold them in Russia. I had several points. People who took goods from me for sale. Or places that I rented, and there this product was sold.

That is, you come for the goods.


And how did your rationale happen in this city, in Brooklyn, as far as I know, at that moment when you already realized that you were staying here? How did you get started? Did you rent an apartment? How did they settle down?

I rented a room in the apartment. Found it through the service Airbnb, and then, when I realized that I had to stay, I talked with those guys from whom I rented a room, and ... Without any problems, we came to an agreement that I would live with them. I paid them regularly, another thing is that these guys did not pay their owner - and after what time we were thrown out of the apartment.

For sublet?

Yes. They introduced themselves to me as owners, I didn't even know. I came and only knew from English “How much? ”. Because all my life I have taught German, I have spoken and understood it quite well so far. English was something unknown to me. Besides, after all the history that unfolded in Russia, I am somehow here ...

My gut has diminished. I am alone in a foreign country. Nobody here. I do not know anything. That is, when you come here at the age of twenty - this is one story, when you come at the age of 38 and have a certain standard of living and a certain idea of ​​yourself and your place in this world - this is completely different. It was very difficult for me to fit into this life. It was difficult for me because I had to look for a job, after I was my own mistress in Russia, I earned good enough money and people worked for me ...

And then I found myself in exactly the opposite situation - and this situation was also quite negative. No work permit. Even if I had a visa, which was valid at that time, but according to all the laws I could not work here. Plus - if you don't have a work permit - I don't think it's a secret for you - the people who hire you treat you like a second-class person. People from the former Soviet Union are especially famous for this.

The Russian community is a separate story. If suddenly a miracle happens, I will be released and stay in the USA, I will never live among Russians. Never. I will go somewhere in the wilderness, to the village, but not with the Russians.

But at that moment I had no other choice but to stay here. And I worked, changed a few jobs - in a store, went to wash houses, apartments. Then I realized that maybe I would return to what I was doing in Russia, in particular - cosmetology, and by that time I had already acquired some acquaintances and worked for someone there on the record, then my clients appeared ... But that was much later.

That is, in Russia you were engaged in cosmetology. Maybe you still have some kind of profession, education?

Yes of course. By my first education I am a teacher of history and world art culture, I graduated from the Pedagogical Institute, I worked at 11 for years at school, at a university, at a college, I defended my PhD in history of pedagogy. Then, when I lived in Moscow, I realized that I would like to acquire some kind of specialty that would give me more free time. And I graduated from cosmetology courses, and since I have an unfinished medical education, which is equal to medical assistant courses, I easily received an education in cosmetology and then I worked in this field.

Globally, do you regret coming to the US, or not?

Globally, I only regret that I made a big mistake 8 years ago. I don't regret anything anymore. The fact that I came to the USA ... Sometimes I think - if I had not arrived, maybe all this would not have happened, if I had not gone to the USA and the investigation would not have thought that I decided to hide, and maybe I would have had time, and most importantly, the opportunity to somehow change the situation that began to develop around me. But in general, I never liked to think about what can no longer be changed. What's the point of regretting it? This cannot be changed. Therefore, maybe, on the contrary, the fact that I stayed in the USA is some kind of my chance, if I don't start a new life - it's impossible to start a new life, but try to live in some other way ...

If it's not a secret, what was the mistake?

When I started working with the police. 8 years ago for the first time I was attracted to participate in some kind of police operation to detect and arrest corrupt officials.

Was it in Russia?

Yes, in the Krasnodar Territory, I then lived there. It was 8 years ago, the first time, for me it seemed something even interesting ...

And why you?

Because with the person who drew me there, we had a joint business, or rather, he had this business, but he took me to work, and, probably, my business skills somehow attracted him. He thought, probably, that I would cope with this reasonably well, which in principle, subsequently, turned out to be true. I did a great job with my work.

Then why do you regret it?

Because these minor matters have subsequently grown into quite complex and serious ones. And there already it was not about taking a person in the act when receiving a bribe. And about quite serious other matters.

And you could not get out of this?

I tried to get out once. When I said that I no longer want to work - by that time I was already living in Moscow, I was already making good money, I could already afford not to worry that my child would not be given an expensive medicine, that I could buy it myself ... besides at the moment we already had a Moscow residence permit and it was not a problem for me to place the child in the best clinic in Moscow. And I thought that ... I kind of grew up, fledged, and I can already live on my own. I said that I didn't want to work anymore, to which they told me “okay, know the problems”. And a few days later, when I drove from Moscow in my car to my parents, somewhere in the Voronezh region, I don't remember the name of this village, right on the highway two cars of the road patrol service stopped me, allegedly to check documents, and ... They found bad things in my car. I was brought to the police station, held there for quite a long time, then, I remember well, the major came in, gave me the telephone receiver and said: “They want to talk to you.” And on the phone to me the person with whom I worked in Moscow said “you will stop working when I want to”.

Drugs found in your car?

I will not talk about it now.

Tell me, what would you most like if (or “at that moment like”) you were acquitted?

Just see my family.

That is, you still would go, despite all the requests for the extradition of Russian lawyers, about which the Russians remove television programs, despite all the accusations?

Yes, I would go to Russia. In order to embrace parents, son, I would go.

How old is your son?


Does he know what is going on?

Of course!

And how does it react?

Hm How can a 14-year-old child react, knowing that his mother is in prison? I liked the fact that when I talked to him, he told me that “none of us and your real friends believe in what they write about you. And I want to tell you that for me you are the best mom. ”

Let's clarify one confusing moment: in February-March 2017, you did not know that you were wanted at all? Or did they know that they were wanted in Russia, but did not know that they were looking for you here too?

I knew that I was wanted in Russia.

The site of the State Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Krasnodar Territory. Photo: 23.mvdr.rf

But that you are being watched, you are not ...

You know, I'll tell you. Literally 4-5 days before I was arrested, I realized that I was being followed. And I even told my boyfriend about this, to which he laughed and said, "You have a persecution mania." I say: listen, they are following me. You know, I worked not in the police for 8 years, but with the police. And I know quite well how this whole system works. And it was not difficult for me to find the surveillance, because the work was quite clumsy. I saw them: at first there was a “grand Cherokee” black jeep of the old release, then there was another car, a sedan of some kind, I don't remember the brand. Silver. That is, I saw that I was being followed, but, to be honest, I had the feeling that maybe these were really some kind of legs from Russia. And I was going to leave.

Where to?

It was this question, its decision that postponed my departure, because I did not know where to go. I didn't know what to do, I was in some kind of confusion. In addition, the person with whom I lived at that time - he reacted so funny, “listen, you have paranoia”. He knew very well about my history, that I was wanted in Russia. “No, this cannot be”… And somehow I calmed down. And it was only when I was arrested on Monday that I finally realized that I was right.

And your boyfriend said in an interview that he knew nothing. Who should I believe?

And I am not asking anyone to believe me. I say what I can say. And who you believe is your right. I can't say: Nata, you have to believe me.

You appeared so confidently on Facebook, in women's groups, and created a certain dissonance in the perception of you. You knew that there was surveillance, you wanted to leave, and at the same time you were actively shining in social networks; I can not really imagine it.

Probably, my inner feeling that I was not guilty, it gave me ... I had no desire, did not even have thoughts to somehow hide, hide somewhere, or lead some kind of secretive lifestyle. Not! I was sure that this whole story, which happened in Russia, will burst someday over time - the bubble cannot inflate indefinitely. I was sure that there would be some facts, some witnesses who would refute all this. And I felt safe enough. I wasn’t… Although, friends in Russia often said “Be careful”… I didn’t do anything, why should I hide?

Tell me, was your appearance in New York, Brooklyn, somehow related to the fact that Nadezhda Ford lived there (daughter of a woman killed in Russia - author)?

Absolutely not.

And did you expect from the fact of its existence in this city of some kind of trick?

I'll tell you more, I even saw her several times.

Well, respectively, and she saw you?

Yes. But I somehow had ... Well ... At first, when all this happened, I was genuinely sorry for her. I felt sorry for her as a person whose misfortune happened, and as a person whom I knew personally. We were not strangers to her. We were familiar. And then, seeing how persistently she accepts what she is given, and how persistently she believes in it, I had a feeling that ... If a person is stupid, why pity him?

Tell me, under what circumstances did you see each other in New York? Was it some kind of deliberate or casual meeting?

I arrived when I came here again in the same way for the goods. Her mother, who later disappeared and who later, unfortunately, was found murdered, Alla, the kingdom of heaven to her - she wrote to her, and by that time we already knew each other, since she had come to Russia before. We met in Krasnodar, where I had an apartment. That is, it was not some kind of multi-step plan, how to kill Alla and take possession of some jewelry, money, I do not know what else I took possession of. That is, it all happened absolutely by accident. And when I arrived in the United States, I did not come to her, not to Nadezhda, I had a hotel in Manhattan, we spent a lot of time together, Nadezhda took the car for rent, which I paid, that is, I did not have an American license ... But she took it to her credit card, and I just returned the cash to her. I needed someone who could take me to shops, outlets, speak English, and I paid her for that. That is, we had quite such ... Friendly and business relations, no more.

What are you afraid of in life? Are you afraid of anything?

Hmm ... Of course, I'm afraid, but now I can't even describe what exactly. I'm probably afraid that something might happen like this ... Not even with me. I am not afraid of anything that might happen to me. My only Achilles' heel is my family. Nothing else can hurt me, and nothing can touch or hurt me. The only thing I fear and worry about is my family, so that everything is fine with them, so that they are healthy. Destined to see us - we will see you. Not destined - I'll take it for granted. I know that my friends in Russia are helping my family, I know that my family loves me and believes me, and this is the most important thing for me.

How would you like to describe what happened?

You know, Nata, when I had an interview with your predecessors here ... I said a phrase that maybe deep down I’m even glad that I was arrested. They asked "happy?" - no, not happy. Glad. Happiness and joy are still different concepts. Why glad? Because lately I've got a little tired of living a life that is not my own.

Why not yours? What was she not her?

The last 2,5 years that I have lived here, of which I say that this is not my life, I had the feeling that I am always creeping here. I could not live the way I wanted, and the way I lived, many things were inaccessible to me due to objective and subjective reasons. And I was so tired of it, I wanted to enjoy the simplest things. Which I didn't have here. And after I was arrested, I realized: maybe, you know, this is a chance? A life span, which is quite dark, filled, perhaps, with not the best actions either on my part or on the part of other people ... - to close and start a new stage. Not a new life, a new stage. How to be reborn.

And what are these “simple joys”, simple things for you?

Breakfast with your family. The opportunity to see your friends. The ability to communicate with those people with whom you want, and not with whom you must. I didn’t like and dislike many things here, and especially the fact that, as I’ve already said, I was forced to live among Russian-speaking people who ... well, are not the best representatives of Russian nationality.

You know, I would like to ask you, for example, to ask why the Russian community here in America, you consider under-membership ...

No, I think this is a community. I people I think under-people. Although, 2 a year ago, I was raped by one person - although not my nationality, but also ... a compatriot.

Here, or ...?

Here, here. In spite of everything, I filed a statement with the police, arrested him, and I went to court, testified, talked to a detective, that is, it all developed, but it did not end, because I was scared at one moment that I was coming to the court, and they will arrest me from the court and take me to Russia. I just changed my phone, email, and stopped answering the phone calls of the prosecutor who worked with me and other people who ... I don’t know what the story ended with, I just threw it out of my head, I didn’t even remember for a while about it.

What were your beliefs and values, or did you have to, or, on the contrary, have you had to reconsider with going to prison?

You know, I always knew that I was a strong enough person, but now I understand that ... Really strong. Values…. I regret that I put some unnecessary material things as a priority - cars, apartments, diamonds, fur coats. All this is such nonsense…. Right now I don't have all of this, and I absolutely do not give a damn about it. The only thing I really regret is that I devoted little time to my family. And if I could go back in time, I would of course ... Every time I talk to my family, I write letters, every time I say to them “Forgive me” for the fact that… it all happened like this.

Photo: video frame

What is a Russian-speaking person most annoying in an American prison? Well, except for the lack of books in Russian?

(Laughs) Hmm! And I was already nothing ... At first it was annoying that I did not speak English and practically did not understand anything. Now I go to school, study English, I can communicate quite freely with prisoners and officers, at least everyone understands me perfectly. Some stupid orders bother me, but they are everywhere. You know, I live here absolutely calmly. Sometimes I don't even have the feeling that this is a prison. I have a feeling this is such a ... disgusting sanatorium. Where they brought me and after a while they will take me away, but before they take me away, I cannot leave here. People are perhaps what annoys me the most. You can't force them to behave the way you want them to behave. These songs at night, dancing. These constant showdowns, fights.

Yes, I had a fight once, but I had a fight to establish once and for all a definite opinion about myself in the compartment where I lived.

Often this happens at all - with other girls?

At least 2 times a day. That is, if the day passed without a fight - “a bad wedding, there was no fight”. Besides, you know, life here is very monotonous. I work well, I have some new sensations, I went out, looked at something else, talked to other prisoners, and 30 people are sitting all the time in this big room.

Do they not work?

Not. Some do not want.

Why are you yes and they are not?

Well, for example, I want to work. I even want to ask for more work to be given on Saturday - Sunday, because Saturday and Sunday I do not have my two main jobs. I want to ask. On weekends, even if it won't even be paid, I will work for free, firstly, I love to move, and secondly, all the time I sit and watch and participate in all these silly "who stole the soup from whom?" “You owe me chicken soup - no, I gave you two tuna steaks, give me back the beef steak” ... It's strange for me to participate in all this, so I abstract. People, yes. People here are the only factor that annoys me a lot. And I also want to tell you that discrimination on racial grounds is felt quite seriously here. 90% of prisoners are African American. And 99,9% of the officers are also African American. And there are officers who simply ignore you for this reason. I even said: “Look, yes, I have white skin. But I'm not going to be here (“I don’t want to speak English now so they understand” - nods towards the two officers watching us - auth), I'm not going to be here for a very long time and for the sake of this change my skin color to please you - I told one of the officers.

Victoria, in a telephone conversation, you promised to tell me something that you never said to anyone. I am listening really carefully.

Three months ago I received a letter from a stranger. The man. I was so surprised and at first thought that this was definitely not for me. Then, when I was already reading the letter, I understood. The man wrote about what he read about me first in the newspaper, then watched all the television programs, and he was so interested in this topic that he read a lot and ... that he wants to just be my friend because he understands how hard it can be for me be in jail. He came to visit me several times, trying to help me somehow, and we are developing enough now, if it is appropriate to use this word in this case, a romantic relationship. My friend, the Russian-speaking, laughs and says: “Well, yes ... You just recently said in an interview that you’ve stopped relationships with men ...”. I say: “No, I said that I stopped practicing certain relationships with men, but no one said that I was going to go to a monastery and put an end to my personal life”. Therefore, we develop relations in correspondence and he comes to visit me, and gives me full moral support, but I don’t need material support.

That is, he has already made visits here?


And do you like him?

Do you like. I like his human qualities. I do not evaluate it in terms of appearance. I wonder what he has in his head that made him do it.

Sorry, I correct my tongue all the time because I broke a tooth. Tomorrow I go to the dentist, I hope that everything will be repaired to me.

Is there a dental service here?

Here is a full medical service, here if you want to die, you will not be given. As my Russian friend jokes: “Well, now you definitely look like a prisoner: there is no tooth, a scratch, the face is still somehow incomprehensible.” And I tell her: "Well, I'm in jail!"

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Keeping a prisoner in a California prison costs more than a year of study at Harvard

How much does the deportation of one illegal man cost

An island of ill fame, between Manhattan and Queens

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