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`Hell on the Earth`:Ognenny Ostrov Prison - a Monastery Converted into a Prison
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October 09, 2009 21:35
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Larisa Vasilenko, President of charity organization `Return Home`, who visited this prison says: `It`s a hell on the earth`. Ognenny Ostrov is a small lake island in the central Russian Vologda region which hosts St. Cyril Monastery, converted into a high-security prison for the death-penalty inmates. The Russian Orthodox Monastery was founded on this island in 1517. Following the October Revolution in 1917 it was converted into a prison to hold “enemies of the revolution”. During the 1930s and 1940s it functioned as a penal colony for the victims of the purges of Joseph Stalin. After Stalin`s death in 1953 it was turned into a regular prison for highly dangerous criminals who committed most dangerous crimes : serial killers, rapists... . Finally in 1997 it became a prison dedicated solely to the prisoners serving life-time and death-penalty sentences. There are around 200 inmates incarcerated in the prison, which is formally known as prison No. OE 256/5 The Ognenny Ostrov island is located about 400 kilometers north of Moscow on Lake Novozero Pictured: prisoners in prison workshop where they work - sew uniform on machines

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