WNBA player Brittney Griner has begun her nine-year sentence at IK-2 penal colony in Yavas in reportedly “slave-like” conditions.
Brittney Griner has reportedly begun her nine-year sentence at one of the worst prisons in Russia. According to The Nation, Griner is currently at a IK-2 penal colony in Yavas, in a snowy area about 270 miles southeast of Moscow in the federal subject of Mordovia. Founded by the Soviet gulag system in 1931, Yavas has three institutions, including a women’s colony, a men’s colony and a co-ed colony.
Conditions in the penal colony have been referred to as “slave-like” to people who have served at IK-2 before, citing non-existent medical care, 16-hour work days, racism and homophobia. Another infamous women’s facility in Mordovia, IK-14, is located seven minutes from Yavas.
Nadya Tolokonnikova, founder of rock band Pussy Riot, spent two years at IK-14, and recalled in a 2013 letter that “beatings and torture are common.”