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Kozlov’s Letter

Zarechnoe, Kazakhstan, 18.05.2014


Having visited Kozlov in his penal colony in Zarechnoe, Aliya Turusbekova published his letter on Facebook.


Kozlov describes his feelings aroused by Aliya visiting him along with their son, Alen. The letter is an expression of Kozlov's fatherly love and his longing for his family.

''Yesterday, when I came back after the visit, I tried to describe my feelings but they were too strong to be put into words. A puppyish enhtusiasm - if you have ever watched puppies expressing their feelings when they see those who are infinitely dear to them - well, that's how I felt.'

For about three hours Kozlov was able to watch his son; in his letter he writes excitedly about the baby's natural everyday activities: sleeping, eating, crying. ''There is no need to describe our first meeting in detail, one word is enough: delight'', Kozlov states. In addition, he describes cheerfully how Aliya changed the baby's nappy.

In the end of the letter he thanks all of his dearest, family members and acquaintances who have given him so much support, adding, ''As for the realia of our environment determined by the borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan, I don't want to name names (...)."




Content of the letter:


My dear Alya and Alen- I hope you are in high spirits! Yesterday, when I left after your visit, I tried to capture my feelings but they (the feelings) were stronger than my ability to describe them in any manner, because there was nothing left in me that would be anything like my own feelings.


Puppyish delight - if any of you have ever seen puppies expressing their emotions when they see people that are infinitely dear to them - I felt the same way.


It's just as well that I didn't try to express anything yesterday because the only person who would have been able to understand any of it would have been me.


Of course I know that for any parent, their own child is always the best, very special, unlike any other, all-round superlatives. I know, I understand and recognise that it is every parent's right to sincerely feel this way. And as a parent I sincerely feel that my Alen, a member of our big family (Russian-Kazakh-Tartar-Ukrainian-Moldovian-Romanian-Cossack family) - is absolute perfection. No need for me to recount for you the details of what was going on between us during our first encounter; there is one word for it: Delight.


For these three hours that he was with us he showed us how he slept, how he ate, how he cried (he does that very consciously, very deliberately and in a number of different ways), how attentively he watches the world around him, with me being a part of this world that is new to him. I saw Alen laughing, Alen "talking", actually having a conversation (!), Alen "killing" two diapers within 10 minutes with various "results" produced by harmonious workings of his tiny body and… Alyok spraying his mama (almost laughing at the same time) at the precise moment that she was trying to change him into a clean diaper. As it turns out mama wanted nothing more than to see me in her place in that instance but Alen had made his own, appropriate choice in the matter :) I held him in my arms for a little bit, when I finally felt I was ready (before that I'd just felt panic: How could you take this miracle in your arms and not harm him… not disturb anything in this sublime, delicate creature).


I absorbed his smell, held his gaze, heard his laughter, his cries and his "agu", felt him twitch his legs and arms, saw his "Cossack" cowlick, black on red, right on the crown of his head.


And all this will see me through until I meet him again, and when I do, something new will add to that, too.


I am utterly grateful to all my close ones, to all members, without exception, of my big family from everywhere, to all my friends who have proven to be more numerous than I ever expected after all these absurd events.


My gratitude to all these people, strangers who offered words of support right when these words seemed hard to come by, and gave selfless help when it was needed most. A separate THANK YOU to those who live outside of our reality but - through your human values became part of our story - my friends and acquaintances abroad that I (and my beloved ones) owe so much to. Given the circumstances, defined by the borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan, I don't think I should be naming any names. I understand that most of these names are known to our three-letter witch-hunters who defend human beings from their rights - I don't wish to add more names to their lists. To all of you: A BIG THANK YOU for everything that I have, everything dear to me, everything that helps me to survive and remain a human being. To my beloved wife, Aliya - THANK YOU (ceaselessly, with all my heart) for this miracle that I, we, now have - our Alen!


tags: Kozlov Turusbekova

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