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‘Everything will be okay, and we’ll be together’ Masha Moskaleva, the Russian middle-schooler whose anti-war drawing provoked a police backlash that landed her in an orphanage, wrote a letter to her father on the day of his prison sentencing
The Moskalev family has been in trouble with the Russian authorities since April 2022, when then sixth-grader Masha Moskaleva drew an anti-war picture in her school art class. Federal Security Service agents interrogated Masha multiple times. Her father, Alexey Moskalev, who has been raising Masha alone, was beaten, fined, and later place under house arrest by the Russian authorities. Earlier this month, Masha was removed from her father’s care and placed in a state shelter. On March 28, Alexey was sentenced to two years in prison, though he wasn’t in the courtroom to hear the verdict — he’d escaped house arrest hours earlier. On March 29, however, Belarusian officials apprehended and arrested him in Minsk.
On the day of Moskalev’s sentencing, Masha gave her father’s lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, a letter to pass on to Alexey. With Moskalev’s permission, Zakhvatov posted the letter on Facebook, writing, “I rarely cry, but this made the tears well up.” Meduza shares Masha Moskalev’s letter in full, translated into English.
Dad, hi. I’m begging you to take care of yourself and not to worry. I’m doing okay. I love you very much and know that you are not to blame for anything. I’ll always be on your side, and everything you’re doing is right.
I love you so much. Thank you for everything you do for me. When you’re unwell or worried, I’m sick and very unwell. I believe that everything will be okay, and you and I will be together. I hope for the best, and I love you very much. Dad, you know, as one woman wrote to me, you have to believe, hope, and love, because the only ones who win in the end are those who know how to believe, hope, and love.
Know that we will win, that victory will be ours, no matter what happens, we are together. We’re a team, and you’re the best. You’re my dad — the smartest, most handsome, best dad in the world. You know there’s no one better than you. One day, we’ll sit down at the table and reminisce about it all. I love you. I hope — no, I know — that you won’t give up. You are strong. We are strong. We can do it, and I will pray for you and for us, dad.
I’m proud. Yes, dad, I can say I’m proud of my father, so proud, smart, handsome, and stubborn, who loves his daughter so much. When we finally meet, I’ll give you a great big present. Dad, I don’t want to write about my health and my mood, and I don’t want to upset you, but I’ve learned that a bitter truth is better than a sweet lie. But don’t worry about it: We’ll meet again, and I’ll tell you everything. This sign [Masha attached a drawing to her letter] is an anti-war sign. I will give you this pendant as the bravest man in the world!
I love you. You’re a hero. My hero.
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