In the twentieth century there was no single
country in the world where as many citizens have been sent to prison as Russia.
Ninety-two and a half million people had been exterminated in the USSR from 1917
to 1987; 40 million of them died in the GULAG.
About the scope and consequences of this
continuous slaughter one can judge by such a demographic indicator as the gap in
the average life expectancy of men and women: it made up not less than 10 years
even long after the end of the World War II...
One in every four adult men in Russia is a
prisoner. The prison population has reached the size of the Stalin's GULAG, more
than one million people are held in prisons in inhumane conditions, suffering
from hunger, disease, and unemployment. Three percent of Russian families have
lost their provider.
The overwhelming majority of prisoners are not
professional criminals, but people who found themselves in prison because of
misery, unemployment, or homelessness.
Thousands of Russian prisoners die every year from hunger, tuberculosis, or
suffocation from the lack of oxygen in overcrowded cells in pre-trial detention
centers. Now the average man does live over the pension age: he dies at 57 years
old, 14 years younger than the average woman.
If we do not stop the senseless extermination of people in today's GULAG, Russia
will become a nation of widows, orphans and ex-prisoners.