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  • What do cannibals, mass murderers, and terrorists  have in common? Okay, there are maybe a few  

  • things. But today we're going to focus on one  particular aspect: they're all groups of people  

  • held in Penal Colony number 6, or Black Dolphin  Prison. And it isn't Russia' most high-security  

  • and possibly most brutal prison for no reasonThis is a place that has been compared to  

  • Soviet gulags and Nazi concentration camps and  inspired protests in the form of self-mutilation.

  • Fancy going on a quick tour?

  • Pull up at penal colony number six and the  first thing visible on the lawn outside is  

  • a huge statue ofyou guessed it — a black  dolphin. Although normally a friendly and  

  • benign creature, the dolphin seems fairly  foreboding outside such an ominous place

  • Especially considering the inmate who  built it was probably a mass murderer  

  • or something. Was it a cry for help?  A metaphor for life inside the prison?

  • Well, time to go inside and see for ourselves.

  • Walk inside the prison and you'll notice  that everything revolves around one thing:  

  • security. At first, it doesn't seem  like there are any inmates here at all.  

  • The place is completely silent, with the  inmates firmly locked away most of the time.  

  • What's happening behind  closed doors, nobody knows.

  • Although prisoners spend the vast majority of  their time at Black Dolphin in their cells,  

  • they occasionally need to be let  out. Maybe they want to head to the  

  • exercise cell for their daily expeditionor need to go to the hospital. Naturally,  

  • guards can't just escort them in a civilized  manner. These are dangerous prisoners.

  • When guards transport prisoners from  A to B, even handcuffs aren't enough.  

  • Each prisoner must be blindfolded and bent  over as guards guide them along from behind.  

  • This ensures the inmates can't memorize the  layout of the building and plot a crafty getaway.  

  • Dignity doesn't exist here. As they  walk along, guards kick and punch them  

  • while heavy metal music blasts out from the  speakers. Not for entertainment purposes.  

  • It's all to add to the disorientationand  presumably to add some extra fear and mania.

  • This violence is a daily part  of life in penal colony number  

  • six. The bad treatment includes torture in the  form of electric shocks as well as beatings.

  • It's so brutal that one inmate, Roman Sarychev,  

  • died from his beatings at the hands of guards  just three hours after arriving in the prison.

  • This is fairly commonplace in Russia. In the  northern country, 2,700 prisoners died in  

  • custody in 2019. Although some of these deaths may  have been from illnesses or, erm, natural causes,  

  • let's be real here. It's likely most of them  came down to torture and beatings from guards.

  • Even prisoner on prisoner violence is unusual at  Black Dolphin since all the inmates are isolated  

  • from each other. Of course, the staff make up for  this shortfall by inflicting the pain themselves.

  • In one case, a guard strangled a prisoner  with a bedsheet while he was sleeping.  

  • Clearly, the guy was posing so much  danger to society and the rest of  

  • the prisoners while he was getting some  shut-eye. It wasn't an unusual incident.  

  • Another guard killed a prisoner by  slamming a bookshelf into his head,  

  • giving him a brain hemorrhage. I'm just  surprised there was a bookshelf in the prison.

  • These are just the cases we know of. After all,  

  • prison staff aren't exactly forthcoming  and transparent about the figures.

  • Although guards are required to wear cameras so  their superiors can monitor what's happening on  

  • the ground, these cameras mysteriously stop  working whenever something happens that could  

  • make the wearer look bad. By look bad, we  mean murdering a prisoner. This happened in  

  • the case of Sarychev, the man who guards beat to  death. Although camera footage showed the first  

  • part of the beatings, there's no footage  of him dying. Nothing suspicious there.

  • Of course, it's easy enough to put two and two  together. When his body was taken to the mortuary,  

  • staff told the man's distraught family  that his body had been flung around  

  • like a rubber toy, his corpse full  of strange and disturbing bruises.

  • Meanwhile, medical facilities are almost  non-existent. Care is delayed as long  

  • as possible, and even inmates with  serious diseases like HIV and AIDs  

  • have been denied treatment periodically. Around  a third of the prison deaths may be down to AIDs.

  • Plus, the prison has been around since 1745,  

  • meaning it's not exactly built  for hygiene. Epidemics are common.

  • It might sound harsh, and, well, it is  harsh. But when you get to know these guys,  

  • you'll understand why people are scared  of them. Cough, cannibalism, cough.

  • There are around 700 prisoners inside  Black Dolphin prison. Between them,  

  • they've killed over 3,500 peoplethat's  an average of five people for each prisoner.  

  • You don't want to get on their wrong side.

  • In case you were getting curious about who  these guys are, here's a quick breakdown.

  • First up, former KGB officer and executive Alexey  Pichugin. He's responsible for the murders of four  

  • of his business rivals. He obviously took the  idea of killing the competition too literally.  

  • Strangely, that's probably the most  reasonable crime of all these guys.  

  • By the way, we were shocked too- bloodthirsty,  

  • murderous KGB officers seems to be something  that Vladimir Putin would reward, not imprison.

  • Next is Igor Tischenko, a man who had some  family drama on another level. He and his father  

  • got involved in a crazy Moscow gang shootout  that resulted in the deaths of seven people  

  • and the injuries of even more. Nowfather and son are both locked up.  

  • Tischenko says he's trying to stay  human in Black Dolphin instead of  

  • turning into an animal. Good luck to  him for thatthis place is crazy.

  • Then you have Nikolai Astankov. He  brutally killed a family of five  

  • and burned their bodies in a forest.

  • Not crazy enough for you? Next.

  • Vladimir Nikolayev accidentally killed a man after  a drunken fight, and that's the most normal part  

  • of his crime. After the murder, he did what any  thinking man would do: dragged the body inside  

  • his house and cut it into small pieces. Looking  at the tiny pieces laid out in front of him  

  • and still in a drunken stupor, a strange thought  crossed his mind. What did human meat taste like?

  • He boiled part of the thigh and tried  it, but wasn't a fan of the taste. Still,  

  • not one to give so early, Nikolayev suspected  a touch of deep frying would do the trick.  

  • Bingo! It was delicious. He was pleased  with the outcome, but he needed to eat far  

  • more to get rid of the evidence. He'd  never finish the whole body himself.

  • So, he gave a friend a present: part of the bodyWas his friend also a cannibal? Not exactly.  

  • Nikolayev told them it was kangaroo  meat, knowing that no Russian would  

  • know what kangaroo was supposed to taste  like. Smart. The man ate it in dumplings  

  • along with his wife and children. I'll  give you a moment to digest that...

  • But he's still not the worst of the bunch.

  • Mikhail Popkov is one of the worst murderers  and criminals in global history. He committed  

  • 81 rapes and murders in totaland they were  just the crimes he actually confessed to.  

  • The Russian media calls him The  Werewolf. Ironically, he was a cop.

  • Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said these  guys were hardcore. But in all fairness,  

  • there are allegations that some Russian  reports of crime aren't credible.  

  • Police have been known to beat and threaten  suspects until they give confessions. So,  

  • maybe these are all nice guys who were just in  the wrong place at the wrong time. You never know.

  • But I sure hope not, because they have to endure  some damn difficult conditions in Black Dolphin.

  • Life there is pure isolation. One door alone was  never going to be sufficient to ensure they can't  

  • escape. Instead, the prison uses a three-door  system. A full metal door shuts the prisoner  

  • into their cell, followed by two consecutive  cage doors –⁠ it's like a cell within a cell.

  • Even if some escape artist managed  to get through all three doors,  

  • they'd still have to contend with the  in-cell cameras that staff monitor 24/7.  

  • It shouldn't come as a surprise that nobody  has ever managed to escape from the prison.

  • Oh, and just in case there was any doubt  about the difficulty of getting out,  

  • guards also make rounds every 15 minutes. If  you want to pick all three locks and run away  

  • before the guards watching CCTV footage  come for you, you've got to be quick.

  • There's not much hope of getting releasedeither. Most of the prisoners in Black Dolphin  

  • have no hope of leaving. As one prison lieutenant  grimly put it, the only way to leave is by dying.

  • But bizarrely, one of the few inmates to be  released actually wanted to go straight back.

  • 55-year-old murderer Gambar Makhmudov  was released from his 11-year sentence  

  • in Black Dolphin in 2018, presumably out of  pity to enjoy his retirement or something.  

  • But instead of heading home to enjoy a quiet life  and do some jigsaws, Makhmudov had other ideas.

  • He barely made it to the train station before  he could no longer contain his wild side.  

  • Instead of calmly making it homehe went on a crazy killing rampage,  

  • stabbing an employee and a commuter  multiple times with a kitchen knife.  

  • Clearly, Black Dolphin Prison did  a fantastic job of rehabilitation.

  • When police arrived on the scene  and shot Makhmudov with a stun gun,  

  • he had only one request. He wanted to  be sent back to Black Dolphin jail,  

  • the blissful paradise filled with  mass murderers and cannibals. Well,  

  • it's safe to say he scuppered the dreams of  every other inmate who actually wanted to  

  • leave that place. I doubt they're going  to let anyone else leave any time soon.

  • Why did he want to go back? You might be thinking  

  • that the prison can't be so bad after  all. Well, let's look at the evidence.

  • While imprisoned, the only contact prisoners get  with the outside world is four visits a year.  

  • Not that our cannibal can expect a visit any time  

  • soon from that friend he tricked  into eating his forensic evidence.

  • As for other little luxuries, well, there  aren't many. Prisoners can spend an hour a  

  • day exercising. But instead of a nice  green area or even some fake grass,  

  • all the Black Dolphin inmates get is  an empty concrete yard. And by yard,  

  • I mean a room indoors with railings over  the top. It's basically just another cell,  

  • but it's slightly bigger and you're  allowed to move around in there.

  • While the prisoners are pacing back  and forth trying not to go crazy,  

  • the guards inspect their  cells to check for contraband.

  • The prison is also designed to  avoid fostering any kind of humanity  

  • or sympathy. Each door features a description  of the crime the prisoner inside committed, to  

  • serve as a stark reminder to prison officers that  there's no need for them to feel any sympathy.

  • After getting their daily exercise, some  prisoners might head off to work. Inmates  

  • can either do manual labor in a workshop or work  a sewing machine to earn some coin. They can use  

  • their salaries toward personal items or phone  calls. Or other black-market substances, maybe.

  • As for socializing, it's tough luckPrisoners must eat their meals in their cells,  

  • limiting the time they have to talk to each other.  

  • Most meals are soup and bread. YummyEach prisoner remains in their one-man  

  • cell the entire day other than the 90 minute  period they can leave to work and exercise.

  • Cells have no windows, a low ceilingand everyone's favorite color of paint:  

  • light yellow. Russian law states that each inmate  

  • should have two square meters of spacebut this requirement isn't always met.

  • Conditions here are so bad that protesting by  hunger strike was deemed too soft. Instead,  

  • inmates have mutilated themselves or committed  suicide to raise awareness of their conditions.  

  • Considering there are only four visitsyear and prisoners are watched constantly,  

  • available methods to get the word  out there are few and far between.

  • Gangs of prisoners have also organized  riots in protest. In Black Dolphin prison,  

  • 150 people were involved in such a protestand four individuals were hospitalized as a  

  • consequence. Let's not think about the  backlash they faced from the guards.

  • In another prison in Russia, 300 inmates slashed  themselves with razor blades on their wrists,  

  • necks, and stomachs. In yet another  institution, prisoners cut their wrists  

  • because officers forced them to eat off the  same plate as prisoners from a lower caste,  

  • aka those who had committed worse crimes.

  • It's testament to the poor prison conditions in  Russia in general. The country has one of the  

  • highest prison populations in the world outside  of the US, yet with a much smaller population.

  • Now, check out our videos about Guantanamo Bay  prison and the man no prison can keep locked up.

What do cannibals, mass murderers, and terrorists  have in common? Okay, there are maybe a few  

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B1 prison dolphin prisoner black inmate colony

Most Brutal Prison - Black Dolphin Penal Colony

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/19
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