Staunton, Sept. 5 – Inmates at Russia’s corrective labor facility number 114 in Khabarovsk Kray have revolted against their jailors, GULAGU.Net reports. There are dead and wounded, and the prison administration has been forced to bring in spetsnaz troops to control the situation (https://t.me/NetGulagu/963t.me/rian_ru/118029).
Russian officials confirm that two inmates have been killed and three more wounded so severely they have been taken to the city hospital in Komsomolsk-na-Amure. The conflict reportedly began among prisoners rather than between them and the staff but then spread (sibreal.org/a/gulagu-net-soobschil-o-bunte-v-habarovskoy-kolonii-ik-14/31444351.html).
Given the brutality of the Russian prison system, it is only surprising that there are not more such risings; but given the way in which the penal authorities maintain tight control over any information about what happens in the prisons and camps, it is likely that there are many more one never hears about.
Only when they grow into something so massive that the penal command becomes convinced that the story will leak out do they report anything, and this case in Khabarovsk certainly appears to qualify in that regard, given the decision to send prisoners to a civilian hospital and bring in special forces.
But before one dismisses this as simply an intramural fight within the prisons, it is worth recalling that almost all major changes in the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation have featured prison risings as the harbinger of change, an apparent indication that in those countries, prisons are bellwethers of broader social unrest and demands for change.