- Share to or
Putin appoints Konstantin Yaroshenko, pilot sentenced to 20 years in U.S. prison before April prisoner swap, to Russian Civic Chamber
Vladimir Putin has appointed pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison on drug-smuggling charges in 2011, to the Civic Chamber, an advisory body within the Russian government. The presidential order refers to Yaroshenko as a “human rights activist and public figure.”
Before his arrest, Yaroshenko worked as a passenger and cargo pilot in Africa. In 2010, he was arrested in Liberia and extradited to the U.S. According to investigators, Yaroshenko planned to transport several tons of cocaine from Latin America to the U.S. through Liberia.
Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty. In 2011, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of criminal conspiracy to transport drugs to the U.S. In late April 2022, the U.S. government exchanged Yaroshenko for American college student Trevor Reed, who was sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia for allegedly assaulting police officers.
In May 2022, Yaroshenko said he planned to go into the community service sector in Russia. “It seems to me right now that all of my knowledge, my abilities, maybe, will somehow serve a purpose in Russian public life, to show what the Americans are really like,” he said.
Thinking inside the box
Increasingly desperate for manpower in recent months, Russian authorities have started tapping a “resource” the country has plenty of: prisoners. If you think that sounds like it would have obvious drawbacks, you’re right.
- Share to or