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Russia stayed in the Gulag

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.



The Russian journalist, Grigory Pasko, who was jailed in 2001, has written a book, "How to survive in a Russian prison," Italian daily La Stampa reports. The book, which has never been published in Russia itself, is both a tutorial and an autobiography. "I must tell you right away: you will not like much of what you will see. Better you just get used to it," Pasko writes.

"If you wait, they will come for you for sure. Even if you do not wait, they will still come for you, unexpectedly. Be prepared that they will take you at night, drag you out of your bed, at your friends' place, by the kiosk when you are buying cigarettes, on the stairway of an airplane, or any other place," Pasko wrote while being held pending his trial on espionage charges.

When in prison, Pasko came to realise that he was in the very heart of Russian reality. He also understood that everyone has to get ready for the same fate: like they say in Russia, the people are divided into those who have been in prison and those who will go to prison. The same applies even to those who have the power to send other people to jail, Pasko noted.

Every third male in Russia will serve time in prison, Pasko says. Prison slang has imbued itself in the Russian genetical memory; even children speak in prison slang. The world has, for all eternity, been divided in two parts: jailers and their victims. "The whole country is one big prison. That is how it always was, and that is probably how it will always be," Pasko laments.



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