Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Moved to Notorious Prison

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny turned up at a notorious prison camp several days after he ended a quarantine period at the start of a nearly three-year sentence.

Navalny is at Penal Colony Number 2 in the Vladimir region about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Moscow, according to a post on his Instagram Monday. The labor camp has a tough reputation among former inmates, known as a prison in which the guards control all aspects of life.

“I had no idea that it was possible to build a real concentration camp 100 kilometers from Moscow,” Navalny wrote. “Video cameras are everywhere, everyone is watched and they file a report over the slightest violation. I think someone upstairs read Orwell’s ‘1984’ and said, ‘ah, cool, let’s do that.’”

Navalny had been held in quarantine since March 3 at another detention center in the Vladimir region. His lawyers went to the camp Monday to meet him.

Navalny’s imprisonment, following a nearly deadly nerve-agent attack on him last year that he and western governments blame on the Kremlin, has sharply raised tensions with the U.S. and the European Union, which imposed new sanctions on Russia this month over the case.

He was jailed in January after returning from Germany, where he’d been treated for the poisoning, and subsequently convicted of violating the terms of a suspended sentence because he didn’t check in with authorities while recuperating abroad.

Navalny said he was doing well and hasn’t witnessed any violence at the new facility, but is woken up by a guard several times a night to be recorded because he is considered an escape risk.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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