A Moscow student who was convicted of trying to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) expressed her feelings after being released on parole in Vologda, Saturday.

"I still cannot acknowledge [my release on parole]. Everything is totally different, yet unknown. I don't know how to describe it, it's indescribable. The air is different," Aleksandra Ivanova, also known as Varvara Karaulova, said of her being released after nearly two and a half years behind bars.

Ivanova went on commenting on her new legal name, which she changed while in prison. "I did not recognise it as something connected to me," she said.

The woman left the Vologda prison in the morning and spent her first day after release in Vologda with her mother, Keira Karaulova.

Ivanova is expected to give a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

Karaulova was detained in Turkey while trying to cross into Syria. She was deported to Russia in 2015 where she was charged and then sentenced to four and a half years in jail. Karaulova changed her name to Aleksandra Ivanova while in custody.


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