The daughter of a wealthy Russian oligarch sentenced to ten years in prison for killing six people in a street race is serving her time in this luxurious jail that includes rooms with whirlpool baths and an on-site hairdresser.
Alyona Zaitseva, 22, had jumped a red light in her luxury Lexus before ramming 11 pedestrians in Kharkiv, Ukraine, leaving six dead.
Video Credit: CEN
Footage of the crash taken on a CCTV camera went round the world, with the city centre looking like a war zone after the incident in 2017.
Reports said that she was travelling at around 100 kph (62 mph), with witnesses alleging she had been “racing” a male friend.
Earlier this year, Zaitseva pleaded guilty to dangerous driving resulting in six deaths and five people being seriously injured, but now it has been revealed she is serving her sentence at the VIP Pokrovsky correctional centre No. 79, which is located in the city of Pokrov in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast of central Ukraine.
Daria Martynova, spokeswoman for the North-East Interregional Department for the Execution of Criminal Sentences, confirmed that Zaitseva was serving her sentence in the facility, which was designed for women who had committed serious crimes through negligence, or those who had committed lesser crimes intentionally.
The correctional facility was upgraded in 2005 and has only minimum levels of security with the women inside expected only to do light work as opposed to the hard labour of the penal colonies.
As well as a health centre, whirlpool baths in rooms and the on-site hairdresser, there is also a swimming pool, laundry complex, a library, a dining room and kitchen whether women can cook their own food, and a chapel.
Also jailed at the same time for 10 years by the Kiev District Court of Kharkov was the driver of the other car that she hit, a Volkswagen Touareg driven by Gennadiy Dronov, 49, after investigators found that he had edged his vehicle forward when it was an amber light.
The pair were also ordered to pay a total of 275,000 EUR (245,000 GBP) in compensation to the bereaved and wounded. It was not revealed where he was serving his sentence.
After the accident, Alyona said: “I am very sorry that this situation occurred, that people were affected. This is the only thing that really bothers me right now. I hope that families will nevertheless allow my parents to be able to help them, because this is the worst thing that could happen. All my thoughts are just about it.”
Netizen ‘Tatyana Borodeeva’ commented: “Welcome to the resort that will be funded by the state for the next 10 years.”
While ‘Brodskaya-Pirts’ wrote: “This is so messed up, I mean what conditions. This is a holiday resort funded by the money of decent taxpayers!”
After the verdict was delivered in February of this year, her lawyer Julia Kozyr said: “No one is ready for such a sentence. The verdict is very tough.”
The verdict was what had been demanded by one of the victims who suffered horrific injuries but survived, Oksana Berchenko, 28, who nevertheless lost her husband Alexander Evteev, 27, and younger sister Diana, 22.
At the time, then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had made sure the case was under his personal control in order to make sure justice was not only done but seen to be done.
Local media quoted the State Penitentiary Service as saying that: “All prisons in Ukraine are working to create appropriate conditions for serving criminal sentences in order to ensure respect for human rights in places of deprivation of liberty, as well as to prevent the filing of complaints by convicts before the European Court of Human Rights.”
Zaitseva’s father – Vasily Zaitsev, 61, is a Ukrainian businessman, President of LLC “Group – Typhoon” engaged in the rental and management of owned or leased property and the purchase and sale of property. Zaitsev is also the chairman of the board and general director of PJSC “PTP” Ukrenergochermet “, which operates in the energy technology market.
Alyona Zaitseva, wearing Ceinture Ankle Boots by luxury Spanish brand Balenciaga worth over 1,000 EUR (894 GBP) wept as she begged for forgiveness.
She said: “I sympathise – and ask you for forgiveness. I know that it will not change anything, but please forgive me if you can.
“I pray every day for the dead and the victims. If it was possible to turn everything back, I would give half my life.
“I’ll never sit at the wheel of a car again. I did not want that to happen. Please forgive me.”
In a message to victims, Zaitseva’s tycoon father Vasily, 61, had said: “On our knees we are asking families of the perished and injured in this horrific road accident to forgive our daughter.”
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Story By: Amelia Guran, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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