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2 March, 2011 9:09AM AEST

ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler

Pyotr Patrushev

The life of Russian translator and interpreter Pyotr Patrushev is the stuff adventure stories are made of.

Pyotr Patrushev (Pam O'Brien - ABC Local)

Broadcast date: Wednesday 2 March 2011

50 years ago Pyotr Patrushev went AWOL from the Soviet Army. He slipped away to the Black Sea coast and then swam out of the Soviet Union and into Turkey.

But he was still a long way from freedom. Suspected of being a Russian spy, he was thrown into solitary confinement for a year and interrogated night and day.

When eventually he was freed Pyotr came to Australia as a refugee, and is now a high-level translator and interpreter.
He works for Australian prime ministers when they meet with leaders like Vladimir Putin, and also interprets for CNN, ABC and the BBC.

View Part 1 of The Man Who Swam Away

Original broadcast March 2010
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