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“Less like barracks, more like jail. And fewer visits allowed”: The harsh reality of Navalny’s 9-year supermax prison sentence

Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to nine years in a maximum security prison for “fraud and contempt of court”. The extramural session of the Lefortovo Court took place in Penal Colony No.2, where Navalny had been serving his sentence for the Yves Rocher case.

As attorney Vladimir Voronin explained to The Insider, inmates in maximum security can spend even less money on food and get fewer parcels and only half as many visits from their family members.

Medium security rules and regulations:
— Food and essentials can be purchased to the amount of 9,000 rubles a month
— Six short visits and four conjugal visits a year
— Six parcels, posted or handed in, and six small packages a year
Maximum security rules and regulations:
— Food and essentials can be purchased to the amount of 7,800 rubles a month
— Three short visits and three conjugal visits a year
— Four parcels, posted or handed in, and four small packages a year

Voronin remarked, however, that no additional restrictions had been imposed on attorney visits.

Ivan Zhdanov, ex-director of the ACF (Anti-Corruption Foundation) and Navalny’s close associate, explained that a supermax prison also implies different incarceration conditions.

“Alexei will spend the first nine months in a cell. It will be less like barracks and more like jail. He will also be allowed fewer visits. While medium-security inmates get six short and four conjugal visits, he will only get two of the first kind and two of the latter. We will find out where they are transferring him shortly. It could be close to where he is now, but it could also be in Siberia...
For the entire duration of the trial, we kept telling and showing everyone how absurd the case was and how preposterous the witnesses were. From among 300,000 ACF donors, they picked four people and threw together a criminal case for two of them. The other two had been dummies from the beginning. Unsavory details abound, from the judge getting a direct call from the Presidential Administration to witnesses rehearsing their testimony. Alexei Navalny never received a dime from the ACF. There is no fraud, and the entire case is a sham.
We will go on to develop the international Anti-Corruption Foundation. The format of our operations will remain the same, but the scale will be greater. We prepare sanctions lists and show corrupt officials’ foreign assets to raise awareness. Our activities will get the new dimension of international cooperation, ensuring a broader reach of our investigations and expanding our audience to include Russian expatriates and foreigners.”

To remind you, Navalny was charged with embezzling the donations raised by the ACF and Navalny’s Headquarters “for personal expenses”. His other charges include “contempt of trial participants”: the court believes he showed disrespect at the hearings of the libel case involving a WWII veteran by using such language as “Obersturmbannführer”, “you’re such a shameless lot — a gang of thieves”, and “a loser trading off his own grandpa”.

The trial took more than a month, with the prosecution calling 16 witnesses to the stand. The list of aggrieved persons included former ACF employee Fedor Gorozhanko, who denounced the charges against Navalny as absurd and asserted the investigators had been pressuring him at depositions. Another alleged victim, Mikhail Kostenko, stated at the hearing that he had no grievances with Navalny.

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