‘Welcome To Hell’: Life In A Notorious Russian Women’s Prison

From kittens tossed into blazing furnaces to prisoners losing fingers slaving for hours at sewing machines in a rat-infested sweatshop, IK-14 prison for women in Russia’s central region of Mordovia is one of the most dreaded female correctional facilities in the country.

Such is the notoriety of the prison, women condemned to serve there often take extreme measures to avoid it, including slitting their wrists. And Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said the reputation of prison IK-14 was known across Russia.

“As the inmates say, ‘If you haven’t done time in Mordovia, you haven’t done time, ” said Tolokonnikova, who herself served prison time at the facility in 2013.

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