Nadiya Savchenko's Letters From Prison, Part 5

05/15/2015 06:08 am ET | Updated May 15, 2016

The epilogue--for now--of our publication of the prison writings of Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian pilot abducted by pro-Russian separatists on June 18, 2014, and illegally detained in Putin's prisons ever since. More than ever, we are tempted to adapt the appeal that Michelle Obama embraced on behalf of the Nigerian girls captured by Boko Haram: "Bring back our girl!" For La Règle du Jeu and its partner publications (Kyiv Post and Ukraina Pravda in Ukraine; Huffington Post/WorldPost in the United States; and others) the campaign has just begun.--Bernard-Henri Lévy

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Fire, Water, and Brass Pipes: Epilogue (for now)

By Nadiya Savchenko

Whatever the situation, there is only one right way to handle it: Be yourself! This principle applies everywhere and in all circumstances. It does not matter what sort of person you are -- strong and true or despicable and cowardly -- show your real nature and people will begin to speak to you in your own language. Everyone gets what he deserves! I have been convinced of this time and again.

War. Captivity. Abduction. Prison. Hunger strike. Struggle.

Emergency Situation. I don't mean the contemporary Russian TV show but the Soviet film. I don't remember the year -- 1958? -- but I admired it for its power and ideology. The movie is a retelling of a Cold War incident in which the Taiwanese captured a Soviet tanker, the "Poltava.'' They threw the crew in jail and proposed that they betray their country and come to work for them. A Taiwanese psychologist looked for the best way to get to each member of the crew, one that would exploit his personal weakness. It is remarkable to see how the entire crew stuck together, and how a person can transform his weakness into strength. This film has just about everything in it: It's about war, prisoners, prison, torture, starvation, legal investigations, and the unbreakable will of man! It is indeed worth seeing.

And to those who wish to get through the fire, water, brass pipes and buckets of shit in this life and not break down, I advise watching a very difficult but powerful film: The Shawshank Redemption.

These two films have given me most of the answers to the questions I have been asking. In making my decisions and in my actions, I have relied on them and been inspired.

And now, with regard to my own experience, everything that I set down here will be "my own truth." It is my own view of things and events as they are seen through my eyes. Someone else might see things differently, and we're all entitled to our own opinion.

Translated from Ukrainian by Vladislav Davidzon with Vitaly Chernetsky