March 3, 2024

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Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is in a Siberian penal colony two weeks after he disappeared.

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is in a Siberian penal colony two weeks after he disappeared.



CNN

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is in a penal colony in Siberia, his team announced Monday, two weeks after losing contact with him.

“We have found Alexei,” his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said in a statement on X, previously Twitter. “He is now in IK-3 in the Kharp settlement of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Oblast.”

She said Navalny's lawyer had visited him earlier Monday and that the jailed activist was “in good condition.”

Navalny's lawyers said on December 11 that they had done so I lost contact with him. Until then, he had been imprisoned in a penal colony about 150 miles east of Moscow.

After he missed two scheduled court hearings last week, his team said that Navalny “was not hidden for a long time.” They warned that he was in poor health before his disappearance after being “deprived of food” and “detained in a punishment cell without ventilation.”

His disappearance came a few days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would disappear Run for re-election In March 2024, he raised concerns about his safety and well-being.

The IK-3 penal colony in Kharp where Navalny is now being held, known as “Polar Wolf,” is “one of the northernmost and most remote colonies,” said Ivan Zhdanov, director of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation.

“The conditions there are harsh, with a special system in the permafrost. It is very difficult to get there, and there are no systems for delivering messages,” Zhdanov wrote on the X website.

Zhdanov said Navalny's lawyers were not allowed into the penal camp “immediately.”

“It seems that the colony was prepared for his arrival in advance. The head of the Federal Penitentiary Service, Arkady Gostev, was there in April, and perhaps they decided then to transfer Alexei there,” he added.

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Kharp is located approximately 2,000 miles from Moscow, where Navalny was previously detained.

He had been sentenced 19 years in prison In August, he was convicted of forming an extremist community, financing extremist activities and several other crimes. He was already serving prison sentences 11 and a half years He is in a maximum security facility for fraud and other charges, which he denies.

Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Navalny, who was pictured being detained during a protest in Moscow in 2012, has been a thorn in Putin's side for more than a decade.

Navalny's supporters claim his arrest and imprisonment is a politically motivated attempt to stifle his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny has It posed one of the most serious threats to Putin's legitimacy during his rule. He used his blog and social media to expose and organize alleged corruption in the Kremlin as well as in Russian business Anti-government street protests.

In 2020, Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, and was flown from the Siberian city of Omsk to a hospital in Berlin, where he arrived in a coma.

a Joint investigation CNN and the Bellingcat group implicated the Russian Security Service (FSB) in Navalny's poisoning. Russia denies its involvement in the poisoning of Nalvani. Putin said in December 2020 that if the Russian security service had wanted to kill Navalny, “they would have finished” the job.

Navalny was immediately imprisoned Return to Russia In January 2021, he was accused of violating the terms of his probation related to a fraud case brought against him in 2013, which he also described as politically motivated..

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This is a developing story and will be updated.