There were two women among those released and exchanged within the recent prisoner swap between Ukraine and the militant-held area of Donbas. Olena Sorokina, one of the two, gave an interview to DW, in which she revealed the tough detention conditions.
During the exchange procedure, the woman wore a hand-made sweatshirt with the words "Ukraine is my state" and the trident on it.
"I drew on the sweatshirt at night in my cell under the bed. There were armed guards on the bus, so I only put the sweatshirt on when I saw soldiers with Ukrainian insignia outside — at that point, nobody could hurt me anymore. I never hid my pro-Ukrainian attitude. There were plenty of reasons to put me in prison, but they caught me because of the leaflets", she said as quoted by the news agency.
Sorokina, the resident of Pervomaisk and owner of a local pet shop was detained and accused of espionage for Ukrainian intelligence, treason and extremism. The local "court" sentenced her to 13 years behind the bars. According to her, no tortures were applied to her, but conditions still were "inhumane", as she put it. "We drank water that was not really clean drinking water," she said. "We were only allowed to go to the toilet twice a day, and we were given a barrel which stood beside the place where we ate," Sorokina said.