Huffpost Impact
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Andrey Tolokonnikov Headshot

Waiting for the Release of My Daughter, Nadia of Pussy Riot

Posted: Updated:
Print

Krasnoyarsky, Russia -- Dec. 19

On Dec. 11, we were very pleased about the amnesty, as the time was right time with the New Year and the Sochi Olympics. We planned to take Nadusha (which means little Nadia in Russian) to her grandmother to whom she is very attached. We hoped that soon we would all go home together with my daughter to Moscow.

However, on Dec. 19 when we posed the question to the authorities, "When will Nadia Tolokonnikova be free?" Catherine Brotzmann, the public relations representative of the Federal Prison System answered,

"The Amnesty Decree has just come into force and to talk about a release of any particular person is too early. We are trying to define who is covered by the amnesty and who is not."

"We are working on personnel files of the prisoners in accordance with the criteria set out in the ordinance. For each convict, we will prepare a package of comments, which, together with the regulations, will be agreed upon with the Prosecutor's Office. And only after passing these procedures will the accused be released."

"Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Aloykhina of Pussy Riot can be given amnesty on their conviction of disorderly conduct. In addition, the judgment applies to them as mothers of young children unless, of course, they are recognized by the prison administration to be hard-core lawbreakers. Then amnesty does not apply to them."

Later in the day, I spoke with my daughter, Nadia, on the phone. She seemed sad. It is a well-known phenomenon that when something turns out right, and all terrible events are behind us, a person is drained of energy.

The next day, however, the Prosecutor's Office had not received the documents on amnesty for Pussy Riot, so Nadia will not be released yet. Amnesty will be extended to Nadia and Masha if the prison attests that they are not breaking any prison regulations.

It is very clear the ideology of this amnesty is a Kremlin PR action before the Sochi Olympic Games so that the number of people who want to boycott it and not come here (to Russia) would be reduced to a minimum. It is a completely cynical game by the central government.

­­­­

Krasnoyarsky, Russia -- Dec. 21

It is a static situation here on Dec. 21. We are waiting for the time "when the documents will come." Some people speak about the timing optimistically, like Peter Verzilov (Nadia's husband). Some do not. Nadia believes that she will be released in time for the Olympic Games, and that everyone is excited for nothing at all. There is a wall of journalists before the gates of Krasnoyarsk prison hospital from morning until evening.

Everyone is constantly talking about an example of the physicist Valentin Danilov (http://www7.nationalacademies.org/humanrights/CHR_081298.htm) who was released "under the cover of night" at six a.m. and taken to the street to avoid a meeting with reporters.

Today Patrick Rivel, who works for the Rolling Stones magazine meets my mother Vera, which means faith/hope in Russian. Her full name is Ivanovna Tolokonnikova. He will write about Nadia's grandmother for the magazine. This is so cool. She will turn 80 years old on Jan. 5, 2014.

Our good friend, Tatiana Laprad, a freelance correspondent for Radio Liberty in Krasnoyarsk, accompanies us here. Tatiana helps us with everything. She collects items for Nadia, delivers them and picks up Nadia's husband, Peter, from the airport.

When we spoke on the phone with Nadia, she again seemed sad and depressed. I do not know the reason, but it is probably connected to the fact that Nadia ordered a fair amount of Christmas lights and decorations for the prison, but prison administration did not allow her to have them.

Even the icon "15 Virgin Maries," which I brought to Krasnoyarsk from St. Basil's Cathedral, (also called "The tree of the Virgin Mary") had to be dismantled and transferred only as a cardboard piece together with a capsule of incense from the holy Mount Athos. The glass is not allowed in prison, and I forgot about it when I bought the icon.

On the other hand, this icon was shown by me during a Skype session with Life News, so even though a modest one; this icon has become a "media fact." I said to Nadia on the phone that this icon represents Pussy Riot, 15 people, roughly equivalent to the number of Pussy Riot members participating in the project at any time. Nadia forbade me to send any journalists to her. She probably does not want to talk about her participation in the rock band in prison.

One young man, a prisoner, fell in love with Nadia and now thinks about her day and night and says he cannot live without her.

Andrey Tolokonnikova, M.D., father of recently released Pussy Riot prisoner, Nadia Tolokonnikova, shared with The Huffington Post his journal from last week, written as he awaited his daughter's freedom from a Siberian prison. Nadia was freed under an amnesty bill passed by the Russian parliament this past week. Translated by Natasha Fissiak, a producer of the documentary Free Pussy Riot!

Top Medal Winners
1 Russia 13 11 9
2 United States 9 7 12
3 Norway 11 5 10
4 Canada 10 10 5
5 Netherlands 8 7 9
6 Germany 8 6 5
Latest Medal Results
Ice Hockey - Men
Canada
Sweden
Finland
Bobsleigh - Four-man
Russia
Latvia
United States
Cross-Country - Men's 50km Mass Start Free
Russia - Alexander Legkov
Russia - Maxim Vylegzhanin
Russia - Ilia Chernousov
© STATS LLC 2014.