ROSTOV-ON-DON, March 26. /TASS/. Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a jail term in the United States, has contracted a respiratory viral infection (RVI) but no treatment was provided to him due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, his wife Viktoria Yaroshenko told TASS on Thursday.
"We talked. It’s more than a week since he developed some kind of an RVI, but, so far, he has been unable to see a doctor, because all doctors are apparently in hospitals," she said.
Yaroshenko is serving his sentence in a penitentiary facility in the US city of Danbury (Connecticut), and Viktoria Yaroshenko sees a high risk of the novel coronavirus infection spreading there from New York.
"Bringing this virus to the prison is just a matter of time, because prison guards go to work, they go in and out," she said.
Yaroshenko’s lawyer Alexei Tarasov told TASS earlier this week that he would request to release the Russian pilot, who has serious health problems, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Russian Embassy in the USA said last week that Yaroshenko might have suffered a mild stroke. "Konstantin Yaroshenko told our diplomats over the phone that the prison’s medical personnel had not provided him with any medical assistance. The health condition of our compatriot is worsening. Konstantin does not rule out that he may have had a mild stroke," the diplomats noted. Yaroshenko’s wife also informed earlier that one of the pilot’s legs had gone numb.
The Russian embassy stressed that the prison’s approach is unacceptable and that it is a blatant human rights violation. Russian diplomats noted that they expect a response to the note sent to the US Department of State on February 26 demanding that Yaroshenko receive urgent medical care.
Konstantin 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.
The Russian authorities and the pilot’s family in Rostov-on-Don have repeatedly asked the United States for Yaroshenko’s handover to Russia.