"Everything is fine with me": Navalny gives signs of life from prison

"Everything is fine with me"
Navalny gives signs of life from prison

Contrary to all speculation, Alexej Navalny is not in the penal camp, but in a remand prison for the time being. After days of radio silence and fears for his life, the Kremlin critic is now giving the all-clear for the time being. However, he is totally isolated.

After days of uncertainty about his whereabouts, the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexej Navalny showed another sign of life: He is therefore not yet in the prison camp. "Greetings from the detention center number 3 Kolchugino in the Vladimir region," said Navalny on Instagram. According to his lawyers, he should stay there for the time being. State media had reported for days that Navalny was already in prison camp 2 in Pokrov, around 100 kilometers east of Moscow – also in the Vladimir region. But that has not been confirmed.

His employees had also repeatedly emphasized that it was not clear where Navalny was; they feared for his life after the assassination attempt with the neurotoxin Novichok in August. "Everything is fine with me," wrote Navalny. There is also a courtyard there for walks. However, he did not receive any mail and – unlike the last time he was in the remand prison in Moscow – he was less and less aware of what was happening in the world. Neither the library nor the prison shop are currently accessible.

He hardly has any variety, apart from culinary experiments. "It's hard to believe, but we dry hard bread and I never thought it could be so entertaining." In his usual humorous tone, Navalny also reported on the recipes for dried bread that were most popular with his fellow prisoners. "I hope everything is fine with you and you don't miss me. Don't neglect a healthy diet."

"He's in complete isolation"

Navalny's lawyer Wadim Kobsew announced on Twitter that his client was living in a quarantine cell with two fellow prisoners. "He is in complete isolation," said Kobsew. There is neither a refrigerator nor a tea maker in the cell. Navalny had been evacuated from the Moscow detention center "Sailor Silence", after which there was no trace of him.

Notwithstanding international demands for his release, a Russian court upheld Navalny’s sentence on 20 February to several years in a prison camp. According to calculations by his lawyers, he could be released in around two and a half years in the summer of 2023. The Russian judiciary has accused Navalny of a probation violation in a previous criminal case while he was recovering from the poison attack in Germany. The judgment is criticized in the West as politically motivated.