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 04.07.2019 Interview with Dmitry Vinogradov

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PostSubject: 04.07.2019 Interview with Dmitry Vinogradov   04.07.2019 Interview with Dmitry Vinogradov Icon_minitimeSat Apr 22, 2023 12:51 pm

In 2019, Dmitry Vinogradov gave his first-ever prison interview.

“I dream of loneliness”
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- Dmitry, tell us about your life here.

- We wake up at 6 a.m. Physical exercises are mandatory. Breakfast. Work. I usually sew manufacturing clothes, but sometimes I receive orders to sew civilian clothes. I wouldn’t say that this work is difficult. We can watch TV every day. In the evening, after work, we go for a walk. An hour and a half is usually enough for me. I’m doing some light physical exercises during a walk.

- Do you have time to read books?

- Yes. I mostly read popular science books my parents send me. What was the book I read the last time? Stephen Hawking’s “Physics”.

- How’s the food here? Is it diverse?

- I wouldn’t say it’s diverse. I just don’t eat meat. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 25. I decided to stop eating meat for my health and for the protection of the animal world.

- Are there any animals in the colony?

- No, animals are not allowed here. I only see birds; they sometimes fly up the window and then fly away.

- Did you have any animals when you were free?

- I had a dog. It died when I was still free. Our family didn’t have any animals since then.

- What are you trying to do to save your personality? Not to fall into despair?

- Well, we only have books and board games here. But I don’t play with anyone.

- You don’t play with anyone? What about your cellmates?

- I have two cellmates. But I never wanted to play board games with them. Sometimes it’s very difficult to find a common language with them. Some cellmates were very… negative. I even asked to be transferred into a different cell a couple of times.

- Your cellmates were maniacs?

- I don’t know to which extent they were “maniacs”. It doesn’t matter.

- Then what actually matters?

- Living together in a small cell leads to the fact that everything starts irritating you.

- Another prisoner from the special regime colony even told us that the way his cellmate was putting his shoes to the door was irritating to him.

- I understand what he’s talking about. But that’s the person himself who irritates you and only then his shoes. A person can mumble something or watch TV while you want silence. I miss loneliness so badly. If you ask me what I’m dreaming of the most I’ll say it again – loneliness…

- You can ask the administration for that.

- I’ll try…

- Do you regret what you’ve done?

- I deeply regret that. I often put myself on the place of people who died. I imagine what they were feeling during this moment… it’s scary to be in such a situation. Such thoughts scare me.

- But why haven’t you thought about that in a first place?

- I have no idea. I can’t remember what I was thinking about then. Instead of constructive goals I chose the path of destruction. Maybe it was a state of affect, I don’t know.

- How would you behave in the same situation (unhappy love, resent) now?

- I wouldn’t behave this way because I don’t care anymore. Many years have passed since then. I don’t care.

- I always wanted to ask you: were you afraid to get a life sentence before it was declared by the judge?

- I expected to get a life sentence. I was ready for this, wasn’t shocked or anything.

- Are you writing complaints? Asking for the new trial?

- My parents appealed to the European Court of Justice, but I don’t have anything to do with that. I personally agree with my sentence.

- Was it scary to end up in the “White Swan” (the name of the special regime colony)?

- I heard about this special regime colony only on TV once. I was never interested in such topics (prisons, inmates) before. Never thought I would have anything to do with it. After receiving my sentence I spent much time in “Butyrka” prison, in a hall where people who got a life sentence are waiting for new trials. There the staff was neutral to me. When I was transferred to “White Swan” it was scary in the beginning.

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-Why? Were you beaten?

- No. The scariest thing was to end up in a cell with completely unknown people…

- Do you miss computer here? For example, Breivik has one, with an access to the Internet…

- It’s impossible to get a computer here so I don’t even think about that. When I was free I was interested in programming, played computer games a lot.

- Are you planning to apply for parole when 25 years pass?

- I don’t think about that.

- But what would you do if a miracle happened and you were free again?

- Difficult question, because now everything outside the prison seems interesting. I would go hiking. I was hiking in the mountains for a couple of times. In the Alps. I would like to try myself as a pilot of a commercial aircraft. Honestly speaking, I always wanted to be a pilot…

- Did you come to faith while being incarcerated?

- No, I’ve always been and still an atheist. What I believe in? Probably in science. But even this answer is in vain. What’s even the point in believing in something if it doesn’t make you feel better?

- So it turns out you don’t believe in anything? Then what happens after death?

- Atheists don’t think about death and I don’t think about it as well. Since death is an end of life there’s no point in thinking about it. You need to think about life. To try to live it to the fullest.

- But did you have suicidal thoughts?

- Of course I did. Why did I have them? There’s a small part of my life left and I have to fill it with something. But there’s nothing to fill it with…

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PostSubject: Re: 04.07.2019 Interview with Dmitry Vinogradov   04.07.2019 Interview with Dmitry Vinogradov Icon_minitimeSat Apr 22, 2023 9:22 pm

I find the description of prison life to be fairly interesting since the interviewer asked him some softball questions otherwise. I've always heard that Russian prison is oppressively violent but based on his description it seems not much different than American prisons.

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