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Friday, February 16, 2018

“Slandered before the king”: the arrested ex-Governor of Mari El Markelov wrote the poem

Our editorial received a letter from the former President of the Republic of Mari El Leonid Markelov, who was arrested on suspicion of taking bribes. More than half of the messages in the poems. Markelov born in Pushkin’s time, perhaps, would be to compete with the great poet at the literary evenings. But instead he is rescued from loneliness and grief, composing rhymes at dawn, while the whole prison was asleep, and calls himself “half a man”.

photo: kremlin.ru

In the “MK” in recent years, often the letters come from the “dark side” – from jail, prisons and penal colonies. Sometimes their authors are well – known businessmen, politicians, artists, found themselves behind bars on various charges. But heads of republics we still wrote. Here’s what happened…

So, what about your letter to the newspaper Markelov told me observer “MK”, almost two weeks earlier than it came to the office. Alas, the prison mail is slow. A letter from one district to another was more than 10 days. The culprit, apparently, speed is not the postman, and the censor of the SIZO “Lefortovo”.

– I really hope the letter comes and you’ll publish it, – said Markelov when I visited him as a member of the PMC in Moscow.

Behind bars the former head of the Mari El Republic for almost three months. Time in jail moves slowly (not by chance all the prisoners ask the first thing — when you take the law, taking into account the day of the stay in the detention center for one and a half or two in the colony). And for Markelov day in captivity, according to him, lasts forever.

– Flour of some kind, – he sighs. I’m here like a man. Cut off from the world. See a lawyer once a week or two, because wild turn. Letters sometimes don’t come for weeks. And then all at once the day. And because I need to constantly be connected, to know that with my children. I have no wife, no parents. Only children. My son recently had a birthday, 18 years old, and I haven’t even gotten any time with him at such occasion to communicate.

Markelov on the conditions of detention no longer complains about getting used to the way of life and only says that forced that life didn’t love, and “a fight to beat out” basic things like hair clippers hair.

And the camera I have all the glitters. Washed everything. Time to clean enough. Wake up at 4 am and can’t sleep. The only salvation for me is to write poetry. I used to build, create beauty, and now just write about it. The terrorists then life in General is not bad, but the rest hard. Moral in the first place. Publish a letter if it will reach?

Of course! And now we fulfill the request of the prisoner.

“My stay in jail — a test that is difficult to transfer. Try to read and most importantly writing poetry. Writing a novel in verses, as I built and built in the capital of Mari El, Yoshkar-Ola is an amazing complex of buildings of Brabant and Italian architecture, the cathedrals, the Church of the “Apostles and Savior”, the waterfront, parks, bridges, etc. I’m not talking about other objects of culture, health, education, sport, etc. But the waterfront is a gem of Mari El. I gave this build all the strength and energy. What happens later — I don’t know. Today Yoshkar-Ola is about 700 thousand tourists (just the thread!). Now, after my arrest the new leaders are unlikely to continue this construction. On the contrary, they consider it a mistake. Tells about some credits to this construction, although it is not so. A large part of the creative palaces and buildings built by private money. Time will tell whether it was a mistake!

In his poem I have a few lines dedicated to you. I write of Pushkin’s Onegin stanza (fourteen rhymed lines). On your court. If you like it, decide what to do with them! The poem is called “How to build a castle”.

Friends, enemies, You don’t want

In his later years of going to jail.

I pray you and implore

To strive for the light, not in darkness.

I’m in a nightmare could not imagine

That angel could have left me,

Prayer could not save,

Doom brought the cruel sword.

In a moment devoid of shelter,

Friends and status lost,

And without basic rights.

And only eve Markachev

Found outcast on deathbed

In jail in a cold cell.


Perhaps that was sweet


Found and slightly amused,

Thank you, Eva, I’m not mad.

To look at things you need is easier

For ritual sacrifice at the grove

Got corrupt

Not an impressive example.

No planes, dividendos,

No, “Bently”, no sarantcev

Without diamond hours

London apartments —

Builder of castles and churches

The poet, the servant of their kings


I never fell

On the, sorry, bottom,

But someone went to great lengths

And through the bars and window

In prayer by turning to God

Please forgive me, I repent,

Please save my children,

Please help my friends

God forbid force me to survive

And not divide, and not to break.

And give me the wisdom to make excuses

And to resist and win.

Send me the joyful news,

That all ended quickly.


Outcast — sadly,

But this new status of mine.

Colleagues left quickly,

And I was standing up.

Everything helped, for everyone was fighting

And what am I now,

What I eventually got

For years I’ve served your country.

Merit, apparently, forgotten

I am slandered before the king,

And I was so sure of it.

I drove from elite

And black handed the label

And then put in a cage.


Tell me, how to build a castle

And this is the castle keep

In a series of houses-toadstools

His family to settle?

And all the best of intentions

For future generations

Decorate your favorite city

Submit other worthy cause.

Not to invest, sorry, nice,

There is no us beautiful Paradise

But to create a nice edge

Then to be proud of the country.

Does not deserve this disaster

Without shocks and impacts.

It’s a few sonnets. The poem itself is quite large, of course, not Eugene Onegin, but I try. Prison is not very inspiring. In Crimea, I’d rather write!

Looking forward to Your reviews. Markelov L. I.”

Read the article: “Arrested the former head of the Mari El Republic: “All the governors are now terribly”


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