Trevor Reed on surviving Russian imprisonment: ‘I wouldn’t let myself hope’

Former Marine Trevor Reed has given his first interview since he was released from Russia, saying he “wouldn’t let myself hope” during his nearly three-year imprisonment.

Last month, the Biden administration secured the release of Reed, who they say was wrongfully detained, after he spent more than 900 days in a Russian prison.

“And a lot of people are not going to like what I’m going to say about this, but I kind of viewed their — having hope as being a weakness,” Reed said about his detainment in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that is set to air on Sunday. “So I did not want to have that hope of, like, me, you know, being released somehow and then have that taken from me.”

“I wouldn’t let myself hope,” he added, saying he would stay up for multiple days at a time due to fear that he might be killed.

Reed told Tapper that at one point in the detainment he was in a cell with seven other prisoners.

“The psychiatric treatment facility, I was in there with seven other prisoners in a cell,” Reed said. “They all had severe psychological health issues — most of them. So over 50 percent of them in that cell were in there for murder. Or, like, multiple murders, sexual assault and murder — just really disturbed individuals.”

“There was blood all over the walls there where prisoners had killed themselves or killed other prisoners or attempted to do that,” Reed added in a preview clip released by CNN on Friday. “The toilet’s just a hole in the floor. And there’s, you know, crap everywhere, all over the floor, on the walls. There’s people in there also that walk around that look like zombies.”

Reed was arrested in 2019 for allegedly assaulting an officer while he was drunk, an event Reed does not remember. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

The Biden administration was able to secure his release in a prisoner exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian citizen who was serving a sentence for drug charges.

Reed’s family advocated for his cause for years, meeting with President Biden in March to discuss their son’s imprisonment. 

A senior administration official said at the time of Reed’s release that negotiations had been accelerated due to fears his health was deteriorating. 

“Trevor has been wrongfully detained for a ‘crime’ the U.S. Ambassador to Russia has said ‘obviously did not occur’ and our family has been living a nightmare,” Joey and Paula Reed said in a statement when his release was announced. “Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States.”

Tags Biden CNN CNN Jake Tapper Jake Tapper russia Russia Trevor Reed Trevor Reed Trevor Reed

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