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Russian dissident Alexei Navalny reappears in the 'Polar Wolf' prison in Siberia

The opposition's spokespeople claim that he was transferred to a remote detention center to prevent him from hindering President Vladimir Putin's re-election efforts.

Imagen de archivo del disidente ruso

(Cordon Press)

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a prison in Siberia, as confirmed by his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh. The discovery appears to be recent, since just four hours before confirming that she had confirmed his whereabouts, Yarmysh made a post claiming to not know where he was.

We have found Alexei Navalny. He is now in IK-3 in the settlement of Kharp in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. His lawyer visited him today. Alexei is doing well.

Navalny disappeared at the beginning of the month. His relatives reported on Dec. 11 that he had been transferred from the prison colony where he was located without prior notice. "We don't know where he is right now. He can be in any special regime colony, and there are about around 30 of them in Russia, all over Russia," Yarmysh said then.

Ivan Zhdanov, former director of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, assured Monday that after searching numerous detention centers, they were able to determine that he was in the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp, known as "Polar Wolf," one of the most remote colonies, according to him. He also explained that both the political and judicial authorities claimed to be unaware of the anti-corruption activist's location.

Zhdanov published a thread on X (formerly Twitter) with photographs of the different centers where they searched for him. It ends with a picture of the "Polar Wolf" prison:

Both Zhdanov and Yarmysh claim that he was held without communication and kept away from Moscow as much as possible due to the presidential elections, which will be held in March. In statements to the AP, Yarmysh assured:

This is all happening precisely because Alexei, despite the fact that he is in prison, is still the main opponent of Vladimir Putin ... It is not surprising that they began to transfer him to another colony right now, so that he could not interfere with Putin’s campaign.

Three days before Navalny was secretly removed, Putin had announced that he would seek re-election. It would be his fifth term as president.

On Saturday, Russia's Central Election Commission blocked the candidacy of anti-war opposition leader Yekaterina Duntsova.