Today is Paul's 1,181 as a Russian hostage. Thank you to those of you who have reached out to find out how the Russian warmongering is impacting Paul. It means a lot to him and our family to know that people don't forget that he remains a hostage.
While the Russian government murders its own sons and the Ukrainian people, the war is largely passing IK-17 by. I doubt this will last forever but for now it gives us some peace of mind. We have heard that Embassies are experiencing cash flow problems due to the impact of sanctions on money transfers, which we hope will get sorted out. Without this process through the US Embassy, we will be unable to continue to pay for Paul's phone calls home.
This could be a calamity for Paul's morale. Already, the United States Postal Service has suspended mail delivery to Russia. The loss of phone calls would sever any ability for Paul to communicate beyond the walls of his hostage-takers.
Paul's morale remains remarkably high. He recently told our parents that a prisoner attempted suicide in the labor colony workshop, a not-uncommon event in Russian prisons [3/9/2022]. Paul is an American Red Cross First Aid and CPR Instructor and provided first aid to the prisoner (our parent's spelling: Vladislaw Evginovich Gorshenin / Владислав Евгинович Горшенин). The labor colony's medical staff would not enter the workshop, so Paul and other prisoners carried Vladislav across the prison to the medical office. We are glad that Paul has retained his compassion and concern for humanity, despite being deprived of his own human rights for so many years.
Not that Russian authorities don't continue to try to undermine it. We saw Russian media reporting today that his flight risk status was reviewed and extended in December 2021. The Mordovia Prosecutor's office reports that, nearly 2 years ago, Lefortovo officials made a finding that he might attack a guard. There has been no evidence to support this and yet it means Paul remains falsely labeled a flight risk, woken up throughout every evening by guards who take his photo.
It was no surprise to see the Russian Prosecutor General withdraw from the international group of his peers. Whatever it is that Russian government lawyers do, it is not to act as agents of the rule of law. I'm sure the Russian prosecutors felt very uncomfortable if they cared at all about the administration of justice, to see what their government is doing to its own, and other nation's, citizens.
Thank you as always for following Paul's case. We hope that calmer minds may prevail and that Russia's war comes to an end sooner than later.