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Brink of starvation: Jailed Russian pilot Yaroshenko urges US authorities to give him healthcare

Brink of starvation: Jailed Russian pilot Yaroshenko urges US authorities to give him healthcare
Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, jailed in the US for 20 years after a DEA sting operation, urged US prison authorities to provide him with immediate healthcare. The pilot has lost many of his teeth and cannot eat properly.

The jailed Russian citizen is being deprived of adequate healthcare, despite repeatedly sending requests to the prison administration. After years in US custody, Yaroshenko has lost 10 teeth, and the rest require treatment, the pilot said in his latest letter to the administration, obtained by Izvestia.

“[The teeth] have been kicked out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operatives, fell out or were removed due to horrible conditions, bad food and sloppy dentist work,” Yaroshenko wrote.

The pilot’s health is declining; he cannot eat properly as he suffers from digestive problems. “Every time I eat, I’m afraid to choke,” Yaroshenko stated. The authorities, however, have not even provided him with a medical evaluation to determine what is wrong with his health.

“I don’t receive any assistance with my problems and I still was not sent to a medical exam, which they promised when my family came to visit. There’s a dentist at the jail medical ward, yet all he can do is to pull out the remaining teeth. And there aren’t many of them left,” Yaroshenko said.

This summer, he was transferred from Fort Dix federal prison in New Jersey to another prison in Danbury, Connecticut, after he was allegedly involved in a scuffle with another inmate. The new jail has even less adequate healthcare, according to Yaroshenko. Apart from that, prisoners in Danbury are not allowed to go for walks in the open air from November to March, which further contributes to his declining health.

READ MORE: At least 30 Russian political prisoners held in foreign nations, ombudsman claims

Konstantin Yaroshenko was once a professional civil aircraft pilot, working in various countries on the African continent. In 2010, he went to Liberia seeking work, but was promptly arrested in a DEA sting operation and secretly transferred to the US in violation of international law and universal diplomatic protocol.

The pilot was accused of “conspiring” to carry a large batch of cocaine from South America to Liberia and sentenced to 20 years behind bars in 2011. Yaroshenko has always maintained his innocence, stating that the charges against him were actually based on statements he made due to his poor understanding and command of English.

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