Less than a month after being released from Russian imprisonment in a prisoner exchange with the US, Trevor Reed is grateful to be home. But he never thought he would be there.
“A lot of people aren’t going to like what I’m going to say about this, but in a way, I saw… having hope as a weakness. So I didn’t want to hope that, like, I would, you know, be released somehow and then have it taken away from me,” the 30-year Marine Corps veteran told CNN in a preview clip for the Sunday night special report with Jake. tapper.
“I wouldn’t allow myself to get my hopes up.”
Reed, a native of Texas, was arrested in 2019 for assaulting a police officer after getting drunk at a party while visiting his girlfriend in Moscow and was sentenced to nine years behind bars in July 2020.
Last month, suffering from tuberculosis and a broken rib and on and off hunger strikes, he was released in exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot serving a 20-year federal prison sentence in Connecticut for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into The USA.
Prior to his release, Reed had been sent to a psychiatric treatment facility, which he claimed was punishment for having spoken openly about his conviction.
“I was there with seven other prisoners in a cell. They all had serious psychological health problems, most of them. So over 50% of them in that cell were there for murder. Or, like, multiple murders, sexual assaults, and murders, just really disturbed individuals,” Reed told CNN.
“And inside that cell, you know, that was not a good place. There was blood all over the walls here, where prisoners had killed themselves, or killed other prisoners, or tried to. The toilet is just a hole in the ground. And there’s, you know, crap everywhere, all over the floor, on the walls. There are also people walking there who look like zombies.”
Now safe, home and recovering, Reed and his family have vowed to continue fighting for other Americans still detained in Russia, including Paul Whelan and WNBA star Brittney Griner.