Jailed Katsyaryna Andreyeva works as seamstress’s assistant and reads Kolyma Tales

Katsyaryna Andreyeva. Photo: Ihar Ilyash’s family archive

The imprisoned journalist recently wrote to her husband about her situation and everyday life. Ihar Ilyash posted excerpts from his wife’s letter on Facebook. This is her first letter after the quarantine.

According to the letter, Katsyaryna was assigned to Detachment 9, where she works in a sewing factory in a small brigade sewing knitwear – elements of uniforms for the EMERCOM cadets.

“It is an absolutely meditative occupation,” she writes. As can be judged from the letter, on the whole, she is happy that the endless sitting in the cell was replaced by work.

The journalist is now an assistant seamstress. She has an eight-hour workday and is gradually adapting to the conditions.

“I’ve never been afraid of work. It is never shameful, unworthy. Any job is worthy of respect,” she writes.

She says that “by great luck,” she found Varlam Shalamov‘s Kolyma Tales on the bookshelf in the detachment. Now she is reading it.

She also asked me to convey her apologies to the people who write to her in the colony but rarely get an answer — there is very little time to answer letters since this is not a pre-trial detention facility. She promised that she would gradually try to answer everyone.