As Brittney Griner’s Russian incarceration dominates the headlines, another American woman sits behind bars in the same prison, waiting for the world to take the same — or at least some — interest in her case.
Sarah Krivanek, also known as Sarah Rae Burns and Sarah Duncan, is a 46-year-old Colorado teacher and mother who has been behind bars in Moscow since last year when she was arrested for assaulting her abusive, drunk Russian boyfriend Mikhail Karavaev. .
He had beaten her in a drunken rage and she retaliated by cutting his nose. Russian media say she tried to cut it off, but she insists it was nothing more than a scratch.
The friend has tried to withdraw his police claim, but Sarah remains incarcerated. Her friends are now begging the White House to take note of her case, which is still unsolved.
Griner was sentenced yesterday to nine years in prison for smuggling a cannabis pen into the country. She was detained at Moscow airport shortly after arriving on a flight from the US. The 31-year-old WNBA star knows Russia well, having played several off-seasons there.
Sarah Krivanek, also known as Sarah Rae Burns and Sarah Duncan, is a 46-year-old Colorado teacher and mother who has been behind bars in Moscow since last year.
Sarah’s arrest was the result of an argument with her alcoholic boyfriend Mikhail Karavev (pictured)
Sarah, 46, lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but was born in California. She moved to Russia in 2017 after being separated from her military husband and started teaching English to Russian children.
She and her boyfriend Mikhail Karavaev had a difficult and abusive relationship. Friends of hers told NewsNation’s Banfield that she had told them that he would regularly beat her up.
Krivanek was a bit of an open book on social media, posting medical reports detailing the injuries he allegedly sustained her, and often talking about domestic violence.
In November, the couple’s abusive relationship took its worst turn. A day after he broke her fingers, she put a knife to his nose, scratching it but doing no permanent damage.
He called the police and she was arrested and then released on bail, with orders to return to court at a later date.
Krivanek’s friends say she sought advice from the US embassy in Moscow and was told to leave as soon as possible.
On November 11, 2021, Sarah cut her boyfriend’s nose with a knife. The previous day, he hit her so hard that she was left with black eyes and broken fingers. He went to the police and signed drunken papers to charge her, then retracted it and admitted he was wrong.
Krivanek had an abusive relationship with Mikhail Karavaev. He beat her regularly, according to her friends and photos she shared of her injuries
She received a $200 loan from the government and was taken to the airport by a diplomat, but was arrested before boarding the plane.
Krivanek’s wrist injury from another beating
The woman has been in custody ever since, with little information about her case emerging.
It wasn’t until Griner was arrested and taken to the same prison, and until a human rights activist went to visit Griner and ran into Sarah, begging for help.
“She hugged me and burst into tears. She said, “How did I get here?
‘It’s not all true.
“I am a good person,” Ekaterina Kalugina, the activist, told People earlier this week.
The State Department declined to comment on the specific details of her case, but a spokesperson told DailyMail.com they were aware of it.
“We can confirm the arrest of a US citizen in Moscow in December 2021. We take our role in assisting US citizens abroad seriously and are monitoring the situation closely.
Sarah tries to leave Russia in December last year after consultation with the embassy
The woman will be arrested in December
“We continue to insist that the Russian authorities provide consistent, timely consular access to all US citizens in Russia in accordance with their legal obligations, and allow us to provide consular services to US citizens detained in Russia.
“Our access requests are consistently delayed or denied.”
They declined to give a figure for the number of US citizens currently detained in Russia, saying: “We cannot give a number to detainees as the number of US citizens detained in any country is fluid and we do not want to give a number that is outdated or incorrect.’
Sarah’s friends are now asking to show her the same interest as Griner.
President Biden immediately rushed to condemn Griner’s conviction yesterday, claiming she was “unjustly detained” and that he would do anything to get her out.
Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison yesterday. Biden administration rushed to offer her help, saying it will do ‘anything’ to get her out
Griner and Sarah are both being held in Correctional Colony No. 1 in Dmitrov, near Moscow
Sarah’s friends say they want her home. She was planning to return to the US after four years in Russia when she was arrested
That likely amounts to a prisoner swap from Griner for the infamous Merchant of Death weapons Viktor Bout, who has been detained in the US since 2010.
Yesterday, after Griner was convicted, DailyMail.com reported exclusively that Russia was in talks with the US to swap the pair after weeks of waiting.
The process is now likely to be completed in a few weeks, unless there are delays in the appeals process that Griner’s team has ten days to complete.
Many have criticized the deal, saying Bout’s crimes far exceed Griner’s and Biden looks weak leaving him free to save her.
Among critics is Donald Trump, who last week said, “It’s not good business.”
The exchange will likely infuriate Sarah’s friends, who have no idea when they’ll hear from her again.