Deported American held in Russian jail wants to go back as US is a nightmare

An American woman who spent a year in a tough Russian prison for attacking her partner with a knife claims she wants to go back there because the United States is a “nightmare”.

Sarah Krivanek had been living and working in Moscow as a teacher for several years.

She was arrested last year after a domestic incident where she attacked her partner with a knife and was forced to spend time inside a penal colony.

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She had tried to flee the country despite being barred from doing so but was arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in December 2021.

Krivanek was released from Russia as part of the deal which saw United States basketball star Brittney Griner also freed in a prisoner exchange.

During her time in prison, it was alleged Krivanek had been abused by other inmates.

But, in a strange series of email interviews with Russian news outlet Moskovskij Komsomolets – based in Moscow – she has now claimed she wants to return to Russia.

According to MK, shortly before her deportation to the US, she told human rights activist Ivan Melnikovk: “Tell me, is it really impossible to somehow cancel or postpone it?

“I really want to stay in Russia – I love Russia.

“Here I will go free, and my friends are waiting for me – and there in this America, who needs me?”

And now, having left, she said: “I have changed a lot in these five years (that she was living in Russia).

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“I have adopted the Russian mentality and my heart is crying.

“I watch life in the USA on Russian TV, and it seems to me that some kind of nightmare is going on there.

“After all, I left a completely different country.

“How can I get back there (to Russia)?”

She is actually allowed to return to Russia in three years' time and has already said she plans on doing so.

In a later email sent to MK she admitted being nervous before going to Russia, but now says she loves the country – and also dark chocolate.

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She also claimed “God loves Russian people”, having appeared to have found religion during her time there.

She added: “Would you trade America for Russia?

“I couldn’t answer it for about a year, and then I took a chance and went to a country that I didn’t know at all.

“I didn’t doubt for a second that God loves Russian people too, and loves them very much.

“One day I stood on the street, looked at the sky and finally said 'God, if I had to choose, I would choose Russia, even if for this I had to give up citizenship and emigrate'."

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