In a sudden move, Alexey Navalny was sent to maximum-security prison without informing his lawyer.
Vladimir Putin’s foremost critic and leader of the Russian opposition Alexey Navalny has been transferred abruptly to the maximum-security prison. No prior notice was given to his lawyer about the relocation.
The information about Navalny’s transfer came to light when his lawyer visited him in the prison and couln’t find him there. Authorities said,” there is no such convict here”. Leonid Volkov, chief of staff of Navalny informed the press about the developments stating, “Where Alexey is now, and which colony is he being taken to, we don’t know.”
Later, Prison Observer Sergey Yahzan told that Navalny is being transferred to IK-6 Penal Colony Melekhovo, 250 km east of Moscow.
Earlier, Navalny was imprisoned at Correction Colony number 2, a prison in Porkov, 119 km east of Moscow.
The prison in Melekhovo is infamous for harassment and torturing prisoners. In May, Alexey Navalny told in a Telegram post that ‘a prison inside a prison is waiting for him in Melekhovo.
Who is Alexey Navalny
Navalny is seen as a brave anti-corruption campaigner standing against Putin and his dictatorship by his followers, while Kremlin sees him as the western stooge who is following the orders of his masters in the CIA.
Navalny, a law graduate, started as a political commentator and blogger. His investigative videos on corruption among the Russian ruling elite and wealthy became hugely popular among Russians, especially the young people.
Soon, he embarked upon his political journey. Starting with protests against corruption, he contested the election for Mayor of Moscow in 2013. He lost the election, and called it unfair and hugely influenced by Putin himself.
In 2018, backed by a huge number of followers, he launched his presidential campaign against Putin. But the Russian Central Election Commission barred him from contesting the election, citing the charges of embbezzelement. He appeared in the Russian Supreme Court where his appeal was subsequently rejected.
In August 2020 Navalny was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent, a soviet-era poison, when he was travelling on a domestic flight. Falling fatally ill, he went to Germany for treatment.
Upon his arrival in Russia in January 2021 he was arrested for parole violation. At the same time, Navalny released a video titled Putin’s Palace in which he targeted Putin directly for his involvement in corruption and incalculable wealth that he possessed.
After Navalny’s arrest and the release of the video, widespread protests started across Russia. The protests penetrated deep up to the villages. A massive state crackdown followed, resulting in the imprisonment of a large number of protesters, politicians and journalists.
In March 2022, while still serving in jail, Navalny was sentenced additional 9 years of imprisonment for embezzlement and contempt of court.
Why Alexey Navalny Matters
Alexey Anatolievich Navalny is the toughest competitor that Putin has encountered. Putin sees his popularity among the masses as a threat to his unquestioned rule.
Navalny has been a staunch critic of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. He urged Russian citizens to protest against the war while calling Putin ‘an insane little tsar’.
The protests that followed Navalny’s arrest were one the biggest protest in Russia since the disintegration of the USSR. According to the experts, the poisoning and imprisonment of Navalny are the desperate attempts by Putin to stop Navalny.