Spokesperson for Alexei Navalny says he has gone missing

December 11, 2023

A spokesperson for Alexei Navalny said Monday that imprisoned Russian opposition leader has gone missing from the penal colonies where he’s believed to be held.

Navalny’s lawyers said they’ve made several attempts to get access to two penal colonies, according to spokesperson Kira Yarmysh, but to no avail.

“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. We still don’t know where Alexey is,” she wrote on social media on Monday.

Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics, was sentenced to 19 years in prison this past August amid his fifth criminal trial. He was already serving combined sentences of 11.5 years in what his supporters call the Kremlin’s attempts to silence opposition to Putin’s regime.

Navalny has been campaigning from prison against Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and has attempted to mobilize public opposition to the war.

In April Navalny said he’d suspected a mysterious illness he was suffering was linked to slow-action poisoning in the food he was being served.

The now-47-year-old was arrested in January 2021 upon a return to Russia from Germany—where he had just spent five months being treated for a 2020 poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. A joint investigation by CNN and the investigative group Bellingcat implicated the Russian intelligence agency FSB in that poisoning of Navalny, though the Kremlin has denied the accusation.

PHOTO: Alexei Navalny in 2011

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