Russia: Moscow student convicted of trying to join IS shares prison experiences *PARTNER CONTENT*April 30, 2019 at 00:25 (GMT) · Published
A Moscow student who was convicted of trying to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) spoke about her time in prison during an interview in Moscow on Monday.
Aleksandra Ivanova, formerly known as Varvara Karaulova, was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison in December 2016 for attempting to join IS but was released from prison on parole on Saturday after nearly two and a half years behind bars.
"I thought a lot in that moment about what was happening, why it was happening, actually very difficult thoughts. They go round and round and round, sometimes it takes you to the point of depression because you cannot get out of the situation. You do not want to think about it, you want to turn away and run but it is still there. And I understand I cannot leave the story behind me, it will always be a part of me," she said.
Ivanova was detained in Turkey while trying to cross into Syria and then deported to Russia in 2015. Aleksandra Ivanova changed her name from Varvara Karaulova while in custody.
"I was worried that I got infected with aggression, offence to the world and it was scary for me," Ivanova explained of her time behind bars.