Alexei Navalny's spokesperson Kira Yarmysh reported that the politician is no longer listed in penal colony IK-6 in Melekhovo, where he was serving his sentence. Navalny has now been out of touch with both his associates and his legal team for six straight days.
“Today, as on Friday, the lawyers tried to get to IK-6 and IK-7 — two colonies in the Vladimir region where Alexey @navalny might be. They have just been informed simultaneously in both colonies that he is not there
We still don't know where Alexey is,” — Yarmysh tweeted.
A few hours earlier, Yarmysh reported that Navalny could not be contacted for the sixth straight day.
“Alexei Navalny is once again absent from his court hearing via video link. ‘Since December 7, we can not fix the electricity,’ — the prison authorities claim. They're just mocking us. This is the sixth day we don't know where Alexei is and what's going on with him.”
Yarmysh had previously reported that Navalny collapsed in his cell after feeling dizzy, after which he was placed on an IV [intravenous drip — translator’s note]. There has been no communication with the politician since then, he has been absent from his court hearings, and his lawyers remain unaware of his whereabouts.
In early December, Navalny said he had been informed of new criminal charges against him. The charges, which fall under Article 214 of the Russian Criminal Code (“vandalism motivated by hatred”) carry a punishment of the restriction of freedom for up to three years, compulsory labour for up to three years, or imprisonment for the same period.
On August 4, 2023, the Moscow City Court sentenced Navalny to 19 years in a “special regime” penal colony after finding him guilty of financing extremism, the creation of an extremist community, and inciting extremism.
On September 27, Navalny revealed that he will be transferred to a single cell-type facility (abbreviated as EPKT) for 12 months due to his “incorrigibility.” This is the strictest possible punishment in any Russian prison. Previously, as Navalny pointed out, he had already been sentenced to SUON (strict conditions of serving a sentence), SHIZO (punishment isolator), and PKT (cell-type room).
Three of Navalny’s lawyers were recently placed on a register of “terrorists and extremists,” after being arrested on suspicion of belonging to an “extremist group.”
Before his January 2021 arrest, Navalny exposed official corruption and led major anti-Kremlin protests across Russia. After recovering from nerve agent poisoning in Germany, executed by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), he returned to Moscow, and was arrested by police officers at passport control at Sheremetyevo Airport.
A joint investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider and CNN, with contributions from Der Spiegel, published in December 2020, revealed the names and ranks of the FSB officers responsible for poisoning Alexei Navalny with the Novichok nerve agent.
After the release of the investigation, Navalny called Konstantin Kudryavtsev, one of the FSB officers mentioned in the report, introducing himself as an assistant to Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council. In the conversation that followed, Kudryavtsev gave details of Navalny's poisoning.