Prison "White Swan": What Is Hidden Behind A Beautiful Name

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Prison "White Swan": What Is Hidden Behind A Beautiful Name
Prison "White Swan": What Is Hidden Behind A Beautiful Name

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"And the white swan on the pond …" - the song with these lyrical words is often performed on the air of radio stations that do not disdain the so-called thieves' music, tactfully called "chanson". But hardly all listeners know that it is dedicated to one of the most terrible Russian prisons, called "White Swan". This colony of special regime for those serving life imprisonment is located in the city of Solikamsk, Perm Territory.

The brick walls of the White Swan prison hid hundreds of especially dangerous criminals from the world forever
The brick walls of the White Swan prison hid hundreds of especially dangerous criminals from the world forever

"White Swan", "Black Golden Eagle"

The passion of hardened criminals for "tear" romance has been known for a long time. One of its manifestations can be considered the unofficial, "popular" names given to the most severe, if not to say cruel, institutions of the Russian penitentiary system - the special regime colonies "Black Dolphin" in Sol-Iletsk near Orenburg, "Black Berkut" in Ivdel, Sverdlovsk region and "White Swan" in Solikamsk, Perm Territory.

The last of them was born in January 1938 as the commandant's camp point of the Usolsk correctional labor camp of the NKVD of the USSR with a transit point, becoming part of the huge Soviet GULAG. And over time, it transformed into a large prison, mainly for political prisoners and clergy. One of the most famous prisoners of the future "White Swan" was the Riga professor of theology and former Minister of Education of Latvia Ludwig Adamovich, who was deported to the USSR in 1941. In the same prison, Adamovich was shot two years later.

The political Solikamsk prison ceased to be after the death of Stalin, in 1955. All those convicted under Article 58 were then transferred to Mordovia, and the most dangerous recidivist criminals from all over the country began to be sent to the White Swan. In 1980, the prison was divided into two parts - a transit-transfer point and the so-called EKPT (Single room of a cell type), in which violators of the regime and "thieves in law" were kept.

In the center of Solikamsk

In 1999, on the basis of the EKPT, the quickly become famous VK-240/2 or IK-2 GUFSIN of Russia was created, in which since then there have been criminals sentenced to life imprisonment and who have no chance of being released. She is the infamous "White Swan". It is curious that the prison was built outside the city at one time, but over 70 years, it gradually moved to the center of Solikamsk. Having become, together with the nearby strict regime colony, one of the main city attractions.

The White Swan employees are especially proud of the fact that in its entire history there was only one attempt to escape, and even then it was unsuccessful. In 1992, EKPT prisoners Shafranov and Taranyuk managed to get some grenades, with which they broke into the office of the head of the colony Myakishev and demanded a car with the possibility of free exit. The conversation turned out to be short-lived - after just a few minutes Taranyuk was shot, and Shafranov, whose legs were blown off by a grenade explosion, was seized and later sentenced to death. But the most curious thing in the whole story is that five years later, Shafranov's death sentence was changed to 12 years in prison, and he was still able to be released, later becoming an evangelical preacher.

Swan song of thieves

There are many versions as to why a beautiful and proud white bird became the symbol and even the common name of one of the most terrible prisons in the country. So unlike the striped uniform of the criminals imprisoned in it, who killed many people. Figures and images of a white swan are literally everywhere in this prison - on the roof and walls, in the form of a monument in the prison yard and even souvenirs in a nearby store.

Four are considered the main versions.

1. Solikamsk prison turned out to be the last living haven for many “thieves in law”.In it, they lost their privileges and, saying goodbye to life, sang a kind of swan song of loneliness and longing.

2. The prison was erected in a forest clearing under the name "White Swan".

3. The building is built of white brick, and the internal paths resemble the shape of a swan.

4. The “swan” position (tilt by almost 90 degrees and hands closed behind the back) is the only way to move prisoners around the territory outside the cell.

Maniacs and MPs

They say that the number of so-called seats in the prison is about 500, but it is 60% full. Nevertheless, killers and maniacs do not sit in cells one by one, as in prisons under the tsarist regime, but in two or three. Moreover, the prisoners' neighbors are selected on the recommendation of a prison psychologist. There is even an almost phantasmagoric case when the Chechen terrorist Salman Raduev, who had spent about six months in Solikamsk, was settled with a former enemy in the war - a special forces officer. And not only did they not even fight, but they also talked very peacefully. Until the former employee of the Chechen-Ingush Republican Committee of the Komsomol and a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Raduyev died a natural death in a prison hospital. By the way, knowledgeable people also argue that the average time that an ordinary person can withstand in such a confinement is only seven years.

Former field commander Salman Raduev is not the only prisoner of the "White Swan", whose name is known and remembered by many outside its walls. It was here that the famous crime boss named Vasya Brilliant (Babushkin) died. And the lists of the current especially dangerous contingent include the former Moscow lawyer Dmitry Vinogradov, who shot his colleagues in the office of one of the pharmacy departments; Igor Izmestiev, former member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation from Bashkortostan; former assistant to the St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak and deputy of the city's Legislative Assembly, moreover, Yuri Shutov, who was elected to him during his stay in the remand prison; one of the first "black realtors" in the country, nicknamed "Yeltsin's orderly" Alexander Murylev; "Kamensky Chikatilo" Roman Burtsev; organizers of the 1999 explosions in residential buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk with hundreds of victims Adam Dekkushev and Yusuf Krymshamkhalov.

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