Yevgeny Chistov, a CIA spy currently imprisoned in Russia, is publicly urging U.S. President Donald Trump to conduct an exchange. Chistov penned a column for the Guardian, providing details about his biography and explaining to the public how he ended up serving a 13-year sentence in a Russian prison.
Chistov, an opponent of Vladimir Putin’s brutal regime, used to work as a police officer in the Russian interior ministry. While working there, Yevgeny began passing information to the CIA.
“I told them about the ministry’s secret plans, gave them the names of some people from the FSB, and revealed some objectives of Russia’s ministry of defence. Then I was caught.”
Chistov began working for the American intelligence service out of rebellion and love for his country, he claims, and in an effort to help overthrow Vladimir Putin. Four years ago, Chistov was arrested by Russian authorities and placed in the notorious Lefortovo prison, infamously used by Joseph Stalin. There, he writes, he was kept in a freezing cell, without proper medical care, and forced to endure Federal Security Service’s abuse.
In March, 2016, the CIA spy was placed in a correctional colony in the Russian city of Bor. He shares his cell with a dozen inmates. Chistov writes for the Guardian that he has complained to the European court of human rights, and his application is currently being reviewed. But Chistov’s family, he claims, is in “great danger,” as it is being targeted by the authorities.
I was a CIA spy in Russia – and now my family is in danger. But Trump can help | Yevgeny Chistov https://t.co/orXWk1d28v— Guardian US Opinion (@GdnUSopinion) December 8, 2018
Now, Chistov writes, the United States is his only hope, which is why he is urging President Donald Trump to grant asylum to his mother, and his wife.
“In Russia there are people who, like me, risked our lives to help the U.S, and in the U.S. there are people imprisoned for helping Russia. Trump can conduct an exchange.”
Russian police officer-turned-CIA spy Yevgeny Chistov concluded his Guardian column by praising Donald Trump’s campaign promise to relax the relationship between Russia and the United States, claiming that the two countries need to cooperate better since “constructive and friendly relations will be beneficial to all people of Russia and the U.S.”
According to the Human Rights Watch, Vladimir Putin’s Russia keeps cracking down on all forms of political dissent. In 2018, the government is continuing to target peaceful protesters and independent voices. In one of the regions, local authorities are torturing dozens of gay men.
The Russian Parliament decided to decriminalize certain acts of domestic abuse earlier this year. Any and all attempts at political organizing in Russia are quickly and forcefully shut down, according to the world’s best-known international non-governmental organization dedicated to human rights.