Breaking News on the Russo-Ukrainian War and the Britney Griner Trial: Live Updates

Credit…Kirill Kudryavtsev / Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

The pre-trial detention center near Moscow that houses American basketball star Britney Greener is a former shelter rebuilt ten years ago for women in pre-trial detention and separately for women serving their sentences.

Its artificially lit, gray-painted halls and gloomy high walls fully correspond to its bureaucratic name: Correctional Colony No. 1. 1 or IK-1.

Thousands of Russian women and at least one other well-known foreigner passed through it: Naama Issacharan Israeli-American woman arrested in April 2019 when Russian police said they found a third of an ounce of marijuana in her luggage as she was transferring at a Moscow airport.

RS. Issachar was previously sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on charges of drug possession and smuggling. President V.V. Putin pardoned her10 months after the first arrest, as she became a political pawn in the complicated relationship between Russia and Israel.

In the prison in Issachar, she told her mother: “The clouds in Moscow are beautiful.”

It was all she could see in the outside world.

Credit…Kobi Gideon/Government of Israel, via The Associated Press

Now it’s Miss. Griner, also held on drug charges, is a pawn — US officials call her a Kremlin hostage — but geopolitics is at stake, amid the war in Ukraine and Mr Trump. Putin’s showdown with the West is much more fraught.

In a telephone interview from Israel, Mr. Issachar’s mother, Jaffa Issachar, said her daughter cried when she heard about Mrs. Issachar. Griner’s case by telling her, “I know what she’s going through right now.”

The mother said Mr. Issachar was treated relatively well by the inmates, but she feared that Ms. C Griner, as a lesbian, might be treated worse because of Russia’s conservative views and restrictive laws against homosexuality.

Yaffa Issachar said her daughter was transferred to three Russian detention centers, including three months in the one that held Ms. Mississippi. Griner is expected to stay for the duration of the trial, which began on Friday. It is located in the village of Novoe Grishino, 80 km from the center of Moscow.

The Russian authorities do not disclose information about the lady. Location Griner. The New York Times was able to identify the prison from a photograph posted online by a visitor and the location was confirmed by a person familiar with the case. RS. Griner is being held in a pre-trial detention center, which also includes a larger penal colony for women serving sentences, with its own clothing factory and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Video recording The prison, available online, features high gray walls, old prison bars, and a rusty statue of Lenin in the yard. RS. Issachar, who was allowed to visit her daughter twice a month, also remembers the monument to Lenin, along with the barking of prison dogs, which she said were trained in the yard.

For Ms. Griner, every day in the facility looks almost the same, said Ekaterina Kalugina, a journalist and member of the prison’s public monitoring team, who visited Ms. Caylee. Greener in jail.

Prisoners wake up, have breakfast in their cell – usually some simple food – and then go for a walk in the prison’s netted courtyard. The rest of the day is devoted to reading books. For example, Griner read Dostoevsky in translation and watched TV, although all the channels were in Russian. Kalugina said.

According to her, the cell has a separate toilet, which is an innovation for Russian prisons. Prisoners can order food online and use the refrigerator in the food cell. They are only allowed to shower twice a week.

RS. Issachar said the paperwork to enter the prison would take as long as four hours, and all the food she brought in would be carefully checked, down to the tea bags that had to be cut open and their contents poured into a plastic container. bag.

She could only see her daughter through the glass, and only talk to her on the phone. She said that her daughter was allowed to visit the rabbi weekly, who delivered letters to them; prison rules allowed a rabbi to be in the same room as a prisoner.

The isolation for her daughter was hard. Ishafar said. “Mom, the fall has begun,” she recalls, as her daughter once told her. “I see the leaves falling.”

RS. Ishaffar suggested that Mr. Griner’s family finds a priest who might visit her.

“Someone is watching them,” she said, “but at least it’s someone she can talk to.”

Isabelle Kershner made a report.