Russian opposition leader confirms prison move
MOSCOW (AP) — Opposition politician Alexei Navalny confirmed Wednesday that he was transferred to another prison and in quarantine.
Navalny wrote on the Telegram messaging app that he was moved to the maximum security IK-6 prison in the Vladimir region village of Melekhovo, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Moscow.
Navalny, the most determined political foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, previously was held at the IK-2 penal colony in the Vladimir region. The facility in the town of Pokrov stands out among Russian penitentiaries for its especially strict inmate routines, which include standing at attention for hours. IK-6 is located about 150 kilometers to its east.
“My space travel continues,” Navalny wrote Wednesday. “I’ve moved from ship to ship.”
He said he was confined in a “strict regime” and in quarantine, but didn’t say why or what his conditions were.
Navalny was arrested in January 2021 upon returning from Germany, where he had been recuperating from nerve-agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. He received a 2½-year sentence for allegedly violating the conditions of his parole while outside Russia.
In March, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of fraud and contempt of court, allegations he rejected as a politically motivated attempt by Russian authoirties to keep him behind bars for as long as possible.
The new conviction was part of a Kremlin crackdown on Navalny’s supporters, other opposition activists and independent journalists that appeared aimed at stifling dissent.
Navalny’s close associates have faced criminal charges and many have left Russia. Russian authorities shut down his group’s political infrastructure — an anti-corruption foundation and a nationwide network of offices — by labeling it as an extremist organization.