Ex-POW Serhiy Popov: “Probably, we continue to have not recognized that i am really home”
Previous prisoner of war Captain Lieutenant Serhiy Popov in an meeting with UNIAN told exactly exactly how he made dumbbells into the cellular utilizing water containers, shampoo, and publications; just just how by using indication language he viewed images of their household; memories of jail chow, additionally the “bath-count” of days in the Russian dungeons.
By tradition, sailors don’t shave before cruising down for a passage. They onlys have actually their beards after they’ve came back to their house base. Former prisoner of war Captain Lieutenant Serhiy Popov travelled to Kyiv having a Robinson Crusoe-type beard, just that their “island” had been a cellular in Moscow’s Lefortovo, and in place of Friday, there clearly was a neighbor that is russian weeped over their mother’s page in expectation of a conclusion of their term. Now Serhiy is undergoing physicals at the Military Hospital in Kyiv. Their mom, spouse, as well as 2 sons had become by their part. But evidently, the jail continues to be in the minds for the recently released sailors that are ukrainian.
So what can you state regarding your very very first times of freedom? Maybe you have recognized your captivity is finished?
This early morning, my spouse believed to me personally, “Why don’t we get possess some coffee.” And i simply tossed two tea bags right czechoslovakian brides into a glass, when I’ve currently got accustomed this. Then, I have to my ward, where my sons got some material scattered, and I also think i have to tidy up. After which we unexpectedly wonder exactly just how numerous cigarettes we have actually in a pack. As a result of proven fact that there isn’t any possibility to go shopping in the detention center, you need to prepare every thing beforehand. You count the times left before the transfer and think: “therefore, i must take in tea twice a time, perhaps not 3 x.” You keep monitoring of the true quantity of cigarettes or sweets you’ve got.
Regarding the method to Kyiv, feelings had been overwhelming, ideas had been blinking therefore fast i can not recollect every thing. It seemed: “we are traveling house, while today there is vermicelli for supper in prison tonight.” most likely, we nevertheless haven’t realized that i am really back. We still feel as if i am in jail, drawing those squares.
What sort of squares?
I experienced a notebook sheet, where I would personally draw more than a field by the end of every day. Also to make it look prettier, we went diagonally. We thought because of this: “I’ll get to the utmost effective – and they’re going to I want to out.” They did not. We thought: “Well, alright, I have into the base – they’re going to i’d like to out.” They did not, either. And thus it went, in groups.
In the beginning, once they simply grabbed us, i desired to believe that every thing would quickly be resolved. Then again there clearly was a hearing, then a differnt one… then your investigation had been over additionally the trial had been set to start.
How about those unlawful instances?
The instances have not been closed. We had been released under a guarantee that is personal of Ombudsperson.
And how can you feel about any of it? Will you be cautious with every thing starting yet again?
Why be skeptical? Day i’ve already been there, and I know that Thursdday is bath. We count times from shower to shower. “just how many bathrooms have actually you done?” – “Forty-one baths.” This can be a that is different from others day. The remainder times had been long and monotonous.
Get up time is at six. We’d get right up, make the sleep, but we’re able to get back about it and sleep in. After getting up, my neighbor and I also would take in tea with sandwiches. At about 11, we might out start working. You should do one thing here, otherwise you it is difficult to reunite from your own deep reflections. As an example, my neighbor that is first would stay there and weep over a page from their mom.
The cellular ended up being most likely two by four meters, and all sorts of we’re able to do ended up being do bench press, push-ups, and raise selfmade dumbbells: we filled several half-liter containers with water, stuffed them in tees, and sewn them up. We additionally produced handle utilizing a magazine, covered into a shampoo label.
Some lifting would be done by us, then it really is meal. Then it is television or radio time. My radio that is afavorite was the one that announced time every thirty minutes. We accompanied the headlines, also when they were Russian, but i really could nevertheless realize a specific way of that which was taking place. I read most of Stephen King, all 50 publications that were in collection stocks.
“Shawshank Redemption” too?
Yes. In addition to Green Mile laughs. After ten, it’s rest time. The television needed to be switched off, but we could view it a small longer. And it also had been the thing that is same time. Thursday is shower time. laughs.
I would personally constantly await a gathering utilizing the detective because of the known proven fact that an attorney would show up, this means he’d let me know some news from your home. We had been awaiting the consul never to hear the terms “these are typically releasing you” but to listen to some news from our families. Letters had been submitted a bulk every 8 weeks. a delighted birthday card stumbled on me personally on July 4, although I happened to be born on March 16, plus it ended up being delivered back in February. The absolute most valuable things in the cellular had been images of my partner and young ones.
Inform us about seeing your loved ones within the courtroom.
They turned their phone screens to us and showed pictures of children and relatives when they came to the courtroom. Nevertheless they sat about five meters from us, so we had to exhibit these with gestures: “Zoom in”, “Next.”
We could talk to our fellow crew while we were being taken to court. We talked about who was simply doing exactly exactly what inside their cells, that which was taking place for them in jail. As an example, my neighbor and I also could perhaps perhaps not find a radio within the cellular for a couple of times. It really is attached to the wall surface but We seemed that it was intercom so he would speak into it, asking for cigarettes at it and thought it was ventilation, and the neighbor decided. We might laugh and help one another.
Had been you convinced that you have access to a maximum term?
We had been dealing with six years max. Some 1.5 years at a detention that is pre-trial after which we might’ve somehow coped with all the staying four years of doing time laughs. Every one of these accusations is absurd had this entire thiing perhaps maybe not been therefore unfortunate. We simply attempted to not consider it.
Did you talk about your passage with all the team? Or even the attack of this Russians?
All lads needs to have a solid “A” for fulfilling their tasks. All acted as a mechanism that is smart. We took all we’re able to through the situation we had been in. The commander of this Yany Kapu tug, as their ship had been chased chased, pulled right back and did a reverse. Russian warships did not find a way to decrease on time, tackled the bow regarding the tugboat, nevertheless the blow that is main by themselves ship. Through the testimony i recall that there is a two-by-four-meter opening.
For the reason that turmoil, our reactions assisted us. Clearly, it had been a situation that is scary. Our company is humans, maybe perhaps not robots.
Would you start fire during the adversary?
It is not as much as me personally to simply take decisions that are such. Had here been a purchase, we’d’ve exposed fire.
Whenever are you currently getting back into your Navy solution?
Whenever I’m told to. Today i’m okay if it’s. We are able to sail along the Dnipro Rive to your Ebony water to transport away our objective.