Season of Greetings in 2002 started for me on December 24, 2002, after breakfast time. I was in jail in Saratov, during my trial. Warden have opened first door to my jail cell and have said, “Savenko [Limonov's real name — Ed.], be ready for going out, with your belongings!” And he closed the door. Me and my cellmate Pavel Rybkin started to pack my belongings. I was thinking on wide range of questions, such as, “Why? Where are they going to transfer me?” “For what reason they are decided to transfer me after only two weeks’ confinement in cell 29, Prison Number 2 of Saratov Region?” I didn’t have answers to these questions.
Prison No.2 was located inside of Camp No.2 near a town called Engels, of Saratov Region. (Once upon a time Engels was a capital of Autonomous Republic of Germans-On-The-Volga.) Regime of Camp No.2 was “severe”, Prison No.2 was also prison of “strict regime”, so it was against the law to transfer me there in the first place. As I was undergoing judicial process, was on trial, not yet sentenced, so I was supposed to be held in a regular jail. As to Prison No.2 it was created in order to break high ranking criminals. Cell Number 39 was previously occupied by known “Godfather” named Petrukha; also by the former head of the administration of Balakovo (town in the south of the Saratov region); and other criminal celebrities. However celebrated, cell was about six square meters, of which 1 square meter was occupied by public style stinking toilet. Small slot of window was covered by scraps of metal. Table and two benches were made of steel. Very unpleasant place, even by Russian prison standards.