Russia Putin sends Navalny to a remote prison in the Arctic

Dissident leader Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a prison in Russia's northern Arctic region

Russia Putin sends Navalny to a remote prison in the Arctic

Dissident leader Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a prison in Russia's northern Arctic region. After days of uncertainty his whereabouts have been revealed by his spokesperson after his team lost contact with him for more than two weeks.

Navalny was finally located in the IK-3 penal center in Jarp, in the Yamal-Nenets region, about 1,900 kilometers northeast of Moscow, reported his spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh.

It is one of the northernmost prisons, one of the most remote prisons in the country. The conditions there are harsh, with a special regime, in a frozen area with permafrost, perennial ice. It is very difficult to get to that region and the mail delivery systems used by prisoners in other centers do not exist.

Navalny's lawyer was able to see him a few hours ago. Russia's most famous prisoner was awaiting transfer to a "special regime" facility, the most severe level in the Russian prison system.

These days without clues for Navalny have raised alarm about his state of health. His collaborators sent 618 requests for information about the location of Navalny, who since shortly after his arrest in 2021 was in a prison 235 kilometers east of Moscow, in the Vladimir region.

It is common that during long transfers from one prison to another, the prisoner 'disappears' within the prison system for a period of time. Transfers from one penal colony to another in Russia usually take several weeks of train travel, and the families of detainees have no news during that time. It happens not only with dissidents, the prisoner 'disappears' for weeks during the transfer and information is only given to the lawyers and family about his location and condition when the prisoner has already arrived, often in a carriage in poor condition, to his new destination prison.

The United States State Department declared itself "deeply concerned" on Monday about the "detention conditions" of Russian opponent Alexei Navalny in the Russian Arctic penal colony, according to AFP.

"We welcome the news that Mr. Navalny has been located," a State Department spokesperson said. "However, we remain deeply concerned about the fate of Mr. Navalny and the unjust conditions of his detention," he said in a statement.