– Putin critic Navalny was transferred to the Poles
The Russian opposition politician, who has been missing for about three weeks, is in Russia's far north, according to his spokesman. His lawyer visited him on Monday as he is fine.
Kremlin rival Alexei Navalny, who has been wanted for more than two weeks, is back in the running. He was transferred to the IK-3 prison camp in northern Russia in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmish told the X news service (formerly Twitter) on Monday. “He's fine,” Jarmish said. Navalny had 20 days still no trace. His team and lawyers went on a manhunt. The new prison camp is 2,000 kilometers from Moscow.
“We found Alexey!” said his colleague Ivan Zhdanov. He is in the “Polarwolf” penal camp, one of the northernmost and most remote colonies. “The conditions there are brutal,” Zhdanov said. There is also permafrost. It was very difficult to get there; Letters will not be issued to the camp. It was clear from the start that Moscow's power apparatus wanted to isolate an opponent of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin ahead of the March 17 presidential election. “His whereabouts were kept secret,” Zhdanov criticized.
Navalny, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison on terrorism charges, has repeatedly filed lawsuits against the prison system for violating his rights, among other things. He appears in court to criticize Putin's authoritarian regime. He has not been involved in negotiations recently.
The whereabouts of the Russian president's staunch adversary have been unknown since early December. The 47-year-old was unwell and worried. During court proceedings, prison officials said Navalny was no longer in the IK-6 prison camp, 260 kilometers east of Moscow in the Vladimir region.
Kremlin opponents around Navalny also launched a “Russia without Putin” campaign in early December, calling on voters to show their opposition by voting for other candidates ahead of the presidential election. Putin is running for a fifth term in the polls, and potential challengers are considered to have no chance.
Navalny, who survived an assassination attempt with the nerve agent Novichok in 2020, has been in prison for nearly three years. He is internationally recognized as a political prisoner.