Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reid described his experience at a Russian psychiatric facility in an interview aired Friday, detailing the poor conditions among critically ill prisoners.
Reid, who was detained in Russia in 2019, was released on April 28 in exchange for a prisoner of war, one of the most tense bilateral relations in decades centered on the Ukraine war.
In an interview with CNN, Reed said he was being held in a psychiatric ward with seven other detainees.
The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Most of the detainees were there for violent crimes, including murder, and “just really annoyed people,” he admitted, fearing for his life.
“Inside the cell, you know, it wasn’t a good place,” Reid said. “There was blood all over the walls – where the prisoners killed themselves, or killed other prisoners or tried to do it.
“The toilet is just a hole in the floor. And you know, everywhere, all over the floor, there’s rubbish on the walls. There are people out there who look like zombies.”
He told CNN that he believed he had been placed in the facility because of his continued pressure to plead guilty.
Reed, 30, of Texas, was convicted of endangering the lives of two police officers while drunk on a 2019 trip to Moscow. The U.S. government has called the allegations politically motivated.
Reed said he would not allow himself to be convinced that he would ever be out. “I don’t let myself be expected,” he said.
Russia-US relations have been at their worst since the Cold War, following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine on February 24 and the subsequent Western sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Former Marine Paul Huilan and basketball star Britney Greener, two-time Olympic gold medalist, are being held in Russia.
Huilan’s family has called on the Biden administration to press its case with Moscow, especially after Reid’s release in exchange for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko.
“Apparently we need to do more because not everyone is on board for Paul’s release,” Huilan’s brother, David Huilan, said in a statement on Thursday.
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