Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has disappeared from prison, his group said



CNN

Advocates Alexei Navalny On Monday they lost contact with the jailed Russian opposition leader, who is believed to be imprisoned in a penal colony about 150 miles east of Moscow and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Navalny was sentenced to 19 years in prison in August for creating a terrorist community, financing terrorist activities and other crimes. He was already serving 11-and-a-half years in a maximum-security facility on fraud and other charges he denies.

Navalny’s supporters say his arrest and imprisonment are a politically motivated attempt to stifle his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors have made several attempts to reach two penal colonies where Navalny is believed to be suffering from serious health problems, spokeswoman Kira Yarmish told X on Monday. They were told the 47-year-old was not in IK-6 or IK-7 penal colonies, Yarmish added.

“Friday and throughout today, neither IK-6 nor IK-7 responded to them,” Yarmysh posted, adding that Navalny had been missing for six days. Navalny was last imprisoned in the IK-6 penal colony east of Moscow.

Navalny posed one of the most serious threats during Putin’s rule that lasted more than two decades. He organized anti-government street demonstrations and used his blog and social media to expose alleged corruption in the Kremlin and Russian business.

The protester was taken from Russia to Germany in 2020 after being poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. Navalny had to be airlifted from the Siberian city of Omsk to a hospital in Berlin in a coma.

The Russian Security Service (FSB) was implicated in Navalny’s poisoning in a joint investigation by CNN and the Bellinggate team. Russia denies any involvement in the posing of Nalwani. Putin said in December 2020 that if Russian security services had wanted to kill Navalny, they would have “finished” the job.

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Upon his return to Russia in January 2021, Navalny was promptly jailed on charges of violating the terms of his probation related to a fraud case brought against him in 2013, which he denies was politically motivated.

He campaigned from prison against Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and tried to mobilize public opposition to the war.

“We will campaign against the war. And against Putin. Exactly. A long, stubborn, exhausting, but fundamentally important campaign, where we will turn people against war,” Navalny said in a statement on his website.

When Navalny was sentenced in August to 19 years in a maximum-security penal colony, he said “the number of years doesn’t matter.”

“I am well aware that I am sitting on a life sentence like many other political prisoners. Life is measured by my lifetime or the lifetime of this regime,” he said in a statement.

This is important news and will be updated.

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