The Current Issue
In this edition of Nevolya magazine:
The section Social Punishment opens with Yuri Aleksandrov’s Legal Practice column explaining the latest changes to legislation regulating the judiciary, law enforcement, and executive power. That is followed by more of Fima Zhiganets’ funny sketches, titled “Zoo Tales 3”, in which an old zoo worker, all permeated with prison subculture, shares his experiences with a novice, while not actually differentiating zoo routine from that of his life in a labour camp where he spent many years. Alexander Khnykov’s publication “Tukhan” is based on the author’s recollections of his time in prison. In the News from Prisons rubric, Alexander Sukharenko reviews information received from official penal agencies and compiled on the basis of media reports. The issue, as usual, features records of the Prisoner Rights Defence Foundation about events and incidents within the penal system. Coming next is Boris Panteleyev’s analytical article “To Obey Instructions or Uphold an Officer’s Honour?” in which the author, a member of a Public Oversight Commission, explores the opportunities for these kinds of groups to improve Russia’s penal system. In his publication “The Untouchable”, Alexander Sukharenko states that not all are equal before the law in Russia, although this is an officially proclaimed principle in this country. The section closes with Sergei German’s brilliant short story “The Strip” about prison morals and everyday routine.
In the History section, you will find Alexander Sidorov’s absorbing analysis of how official literature promoted prison folklore during the years of Stalin’s rule. The story is from the series “Proverbs and Sayings of Russian Prisoners”. The section and issue close with two literary reviews by Alexei Mokrousov – of a book of memoirs by a World War Two Soviet spy and a book about Russian prisons today.