Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said, on Tuesday (26), that he is in good condition in his first message since his transfer to a prison in the Arctic Circle, where his whereabouts were known after about three weeks without his supporters knowing his whereabouts.
“Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I'm very happy that I reached my destination,” Navalny said in a message posted on his Telegram channel.
Navalny revealed that he arrived at IK-3 prison, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Oblast, on Saturday (23), after a 20-day trip from Moscow to the city of Kharp, with stops in several cities, including the country's capital. The Ural Mountains, Yekaterinburg, and Vorkuta, home to one of the most terrifying Soviet concentration camps.
He admitted that the transfer to prison, known in Russia as “etapirovanie”, was “very stressful”, but added that his mental state was “excellent anyway”.
“I did not expect anyone to find me until the middle of January. That is why I was so surprised when the door opened in the afternoon with the following words: ‘Your lawyer has arrived. He said that they had lost track of me and that some people could not find me.” He said, “I was even worried about me.” Thank you very much for your support.”
Navalny stressed that the prison is located within the Arctic Circle, and that when he looks out the window of his cell, “it is night first, then night, then night again.”
The opponent's lawyers have not been able to contact him since December 5, which alerted his supporters and Western chancelleries.
The city of Garib, with a population of about 6,000 people, is about 2,000 kilometers from Moscow.
According to one of Navalny's aides in exile, Ivan Zhdanov, the prison was called the “Polar Wolf” and is considered one of the furthest prisons from civilization in all of Russia. “Escape is practically impossible,” said Ivan Vostrikov, a contributor to the opposition in the Russian Federation. “On the one hand, there are hundreds of kilometers of tundra, and on the other hand, the Ural Mountains in the Arctic. That is why they detain the most terrible criminals and serial killers there.” Tyumen region in Siberia on social media
Ten days ago, the Russian Prison Service (FSIN) reported that Navalny was transferred from the prison where he was serving his sentence in the Vladimir region “in light of the decision of the Moscow City Court on August 4,” which included a new 19-year sentence for extremism.
Navalny, who is serving nearly 30 years in prison for various crimes, was transferred after announcing a campaign against President Vladimir Putin's re-election next year. The current head of the Kremlin has been in power since 2000. (with EFE agency)
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