Boris looked out of the small barred window. The summer dawn was breaking under a bright pink and golden sky filled with soft clouds.
He rubbed his eyes and stretched. He needed to get some sleep but it was not often they were allowed to stay up and watch television through the night.
It had been worth it to watch the events unfold in Moscow. The Luzhniki Stadium was full, the crowd excited. The President had spoken. The Russian team, out of form and ill-fancied, had produced a stunning victory against Saudi Arabia.
The small town of Palana may have been almost 4000 miles away in Siberia, and nine hours ahead of the capital, but Moscow was still his capital, Russia was still his country and this was still his World Cup.
The eyes of the world were on Russia. Would any of them see past the glitz and glamour and notice the fate of him, and those like him?
Would this be the moment that the rest of the world could persuade Russia to look again at its record on human rights?
The television went blank, the iron gate opened. The security guards ordered them back to their cells.
As the door clanged shut, Boris, still wearing his Russian football top, lay down on his metal cot, closed his eyes and dreamt of a new beginning.