Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022
News Every Day |

What will life be like for Brittney Griner in a Russian penal colony?

WNBA player Brittney Griner has been transferred to a Russian penal colony to serve a nine-year sentence following a drug conviction after authorities found a small amount of cannabis oil in her bag. While Russian authorities have gone to great lengths to keep the locations and operations of these colonies secret, the accounts of prior inmates, including some Americans, can help shed light on the conditions Griner might be facing.

What is a Russian penal colony?

It's essentially a labor camp. Inmates are usually forced to manufacture various Russian goods, mostly textiles, in sweatshop conditions. Sometimes they even make souvenirs and trinkets for tourists, ABC News reports. Instead of having individual cells, prisoners share barracks. The camps reportedly have varying levels of security — the more severe the crime, the harsher the security. This may not bode well for Griner, given that cannabis remains highly criminalized in Russia.

Where is Griner?

That wasn't immediately clear. There more than 700 colonies in Russia containing half a million prisoners, Al Jazeera reports. Authorities have kept their exact whereabouts secret, but most of the facilities are in "remote locations, far from cities," the outlet added. Griner's lawyers told CNN when she began her transfer to the colony on Nov. 9, 2022, that they had no information on her whereabouts but were hoping to "be notified upon her arrival at her destination" in the coming weeks. "This form of isolation is believed to be part of the punishment of pseudo-exile," according to Al Jazeera.

What is life like on the inside? 

It can vary from colony to colony, depending on location, leadership, and the perceived severity of the crimes committed by the prisoners within, Insider reports. In more lenient colonies, prisoners are housed in larger barracks and often allowed to move freely, according to a report from the Center for Eastern Studies. Some colonies even let prisoners leave on short trips, meet with their families, and wear their own clothes. 

But life in the stricter colonies is, by many accounts, "hell." A report from Radio Free Europe describes the conditions at IK-14 women's facility in Mordova, one of the most notorious and feared camps in the country. Prisoners are forced to endure "slave labor conditions." One former prisoner, Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, said they were forced to work up to 17-hour days with just a single day off every eight weeks. Another former inmate, Gelena Alekseyeva, called the conditions "medieval," and recalls the dangers of working in the sewing shop: "The saw cuts the fabric along a chalk line continuously. God forbid, if the saw cuts somewhere else ... I can say that fingers on the saw are chopped off, cut, blood flows." The guards would reportedly burn kittens alive in furnaces in order to demoralize the prisoners, and at the end of the day, Alekseyeva added, the inmates would return to barracks infested by rats and rodents. 

Most of the colonies are overcrowded and unsanitary, according to a 2021 report from the U.S. State Department. Problems with running water and heat are common, which can make for brutal conditions in the frigid Russian winters, and prisoners are often transported in "windowless railroad carriages known as Stolypin cars." 

Does Griner face these kinds of conditions? 

Griner will likely be sent to a prison camp specifically for foreign inmates, ABC News reports. Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who, like Griner, is being held prisoner in a Russian penal colony, told the outlet the conditions were "Dickensian," "grim," and "dilapidated." He added that prisoners were forced to share just a few toilets, and were only allowed to shower once or twice per week. The rest of the time, the camp had no hot water, and medical treatment in the often-freezing colony was minimal, Whelan added. 

Griner was sentenced to serve in the harshest category of women's colonies, according to People. But she may be high-profile enough to escape some of the most horrific treatment, ABC News adds. That's because Russia might want to use her as a bargaining chip. Her celebrity and her American citizenship could also help protect her from other prisoners, Russian prison sociologist Olga Zeveleva tells VICE News, adding that the prison administration would likely keep a close watch on Griner. 

What is Putin's role? 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been noticeably mum about the conditions of Griner's detainment. He has sent a number of his own critics, including many in the media, to penal colonies when they have spoken out against him. Prominent Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny is currently imprisoned for expressing his views against the president. While the Biden administration has asserted it wants to bring Griner home, a senior aide to Putin described the issue as "not a priority" for the Russian president.

Read also

I’m a super hot cougar dating a man 14 years younger – I keep him on his toes, not the other way round

Liverpool in a ‘triple fight’ for Bellingham but have two South American players as alternatives – report

England fans furious at Gareth Southgate for his bizarre decision against USA

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on

News Every Day

It's not just you. Disney's CEO reportedly thinks its theme parks have gotten too expensive. — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Regular homebuyers in Las Vegas and Phoenix stand a chance now that investors are fleeing pandemic boomtowns

Sports today

Новости тенниса
Матс Виландер

Матс Виландер: Если бы Джоковичу не позволили играть непривитым, история тенниса стала бы совсем неполноценной

Спорт в России и мире

Новый катарский премьер, юбилей Общества российско-китайской дружбы, мультфильм в честь Чемпионата мира, российское мороженое вне конкуренции


All sports news today


Sports in Russia today


Владимир Брилёв принял участие в чемпионате по киберфутболу

Новости России

Game News

Bus Simulator 2023 позволяет водить автобус в мультиплеере


Дублер Гагарина в Нижнем Новгороде построят по концессии с «дочкой» ДСК «Автобан»

Губернаторы России

МТС запустила собственный магазин приложений для телефонов на Android

На пяти станциях БКЛ появятся площадки проекта «Музыка в метро»

Квадраты тают: площадь жилья в столичных новостройках продолжает снижаться

Летом 2022 в Москве в павильоне ВДНХ - АРТ Техноград прошел форум профессий будущего

Ростовчане могут проголосовать за участника от Юга в конкурсе историй билайн с призом в миллион рублей

Новосибирцы услышат «Царицу Песню» благодаря нацпроекту

Бастрыкина попросили проверить трек рэпера OG Buda, в котором упоминаются фашисты

Зачем Поэту и Писателю участвовать в литературных Конкурсах и Премиях!

Песни на Продажу от Автора песен Людмилы ЛИНАСК.

"Кубок Дэвиса". Пёрселл и Томпсон обыграли Мектича и Павича и принесли Австралии победу над Хорватией в полуфинале

Пловец Николай Зуев вошел в состав "Синтеза"

Тодд Вудбридж считает Новака Джоковича настоящей первой ракеткой мира

"Кубок Дэвиса". Лоренцо Сонего обыграл Фрэнсиса Тиафо и вывел Италию вперёд

Почему турецкий минисултан Алиев отказался от переговоров с Макроном по Армянскому вопросу

Forbes: Приобретение Арменией иранских беспилотников может стать потенциальным сдерживающим фактором и достойным ответом оси Баку - Тель-Авив

"Можно правильно направить все программные орудия мира": Анатолий Голод, Служба общей информационной безопасности


Путин заявил, что на трассе М11 запустят эксперимент с беспилотными машинами

Театр драмы в Челябинске после Нового года переедет в другое здание

На поезде в Крым зимой: список маршрутов, расписание

Уехавшего в США блогера Даню Милохина просят не пускать обратно в Россию и лишить гражданства

Bloomberg: Россия запретит продажу своей нефти странам, которые ввели потолок цен

Ученые оценили опасность вирусной «тридемии» для России

Туктамышева ответила на вопрос о своем участии в шоу "Ледниковый период"

Контакт-центр по вопросам выплат мобилизованным начал работу в Москве

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости

Игорь Бутман

Саксофонист Бутман попал в книгу рекордов России

News Every Day

Sequoia Capital Loses $150M in FTX Collapse

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости