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Jailed Russian pilot Yaroshenko undergoes surgery in US prison hospital

Yaroshenko’s wife Viktoria said "there are no cardinal improvements but he feels better"

ROSTOV-ON-DON, May 7. /TASS/. Doctors of the prison hospital in Danbury have removed benign tumors from the stomach of jailed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, Yaroshenko’s wife Viktoria told TASS on Tuesday.

The jailed Russian pilot earlier wrote a letter to Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov with a request for his transfer to another prison, saying he was not getting medical assistance. Yaroshenko complained about toothaches and stomach problems, as he could not take food normally. In late April, the prison authorities started to provide medical assistance to Yaroshenko and made an X-ray of his stomach to find out the cause of his health problems.

"During the medical observation, he [Konstantin] had his benign tumors removed. He was not aware of this and started to apply to authorities with a request for an urgent surgery. We made an inquiry to the clinic where he underwent a medical check-up and the doctor wrote that everything had been removed during the medical examination," Viktoria said.

"There are no cardinal improvements but he feels better," Yaroshenko’s wife said.

Yaroshenko was convicted in the United States on September 7, 2011 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He pled not guilty and described his arrest as a provocation and the whole case as a frame-up. Yaroshenko was brought to the United States from Liberia, where he was arrested on May 28, 2010. Agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly exposed Yaroshenko’s criminal intent to transport a large batch of cocaine.

Until recently, Yaroshenko had been serving out his sentence at the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution (New Jersey), but in mid-June 2018, he was first transferred to a transit prison in Brooklyn, New York, and then to the current Danbury prison, which holds more than 1,400 inmates.

The Russian authorities and the pilot’s family in Rostov-on-Don have repeatedly asked the United States for Yaroshenko’s handover to Russia.