This piece from Navigator quotes from the Russian weekly “Argumenty i Fakty”, but I can’t find the source article right now, so I’ll just quote from the secondary.
‘Tis a bit of gossip from Nadia Savchenko’s stint in a Russian jail: The Ukrainian celebrity prisoner served time in Penitentiary Isolator #3 in the city of Novocherkassk. The “Argumenty i Fakty” correspondent was able to gain an exclusive interview with a couple of the turnkeys whose job was to take care of Nadia. And it seems their efforts were not in vain. Nadia entered the prison an aggressive foul-mouthed rebel; but walked out two years later as a humanist and statesman. She has emerged as, oddly, one of the more reasonable voices in Ukrainian politics, calling for an end to the war in Donbass, and for Ukraine to forget about joining NATO.
Colonel Alexander Kolganov described to the AIF reporter the problems he had getting Savchenko to eat:
“As with many of our prisoners, we had some problems with Savchenko, the main one being, in her case, the hunger strike. Nadezhda Viktorovna declared a hunger strike, in her attempt to blackmail the government of the Russian Federation. We had to baby her, trying to convince her to eat something.”
Kolganov went on to say, that the menu in the prison is quite a good one. Rations include tvorog, butter, milk, fish and meat. Reminiscing about the old days: “When I served in Soviet times, they did not feed us as well as they do now. Bottom line: When Nadezhda entered our establishment, she weighed 72 kilos [approx. 160 pounds]. We released her in approximately the same dimensions.”
Kolganov goes on to gossip, how Nadia loved to watch the news on TV Channel “Russia-24” and frequently would enter into discussions of the topics with the management of the prison. He added that nobody was particularly interested in “working her over” or debating with her about her views.
Another prison employee, Retired Major Alexei Vasik, was interviewed. Vasik is a long-time veteran prison employee. Retired and on his pension now, he continues to work part-time as a prison librarian. Asked about Savchenko’s recent peace-loving political pronouncements, Vasik explains that many former inmates of the Novocherkassk Isolator have been successfully rehabilitated, sincerely repenting for their past crimes; and have gone on to walk a truer path.
“There was a young man who was here for eight years, for robbing a bank. I recently met him out in the world, he has forgotten his prison life, he has a family now, children, he has started a business manufacturing safes.”