Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been transferred out of his prison colony to an unknown location, a top aide says.
“Where Alexei is now, and which colony he is being taken to, we don’t know,” Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, said in a statement on Tuesday on the Telegram app.
Navalny, Russia’s highest profile opposition leader in the past decade, was jailed for two and a half years for parole violations in February 2021 after returning from Germany, where he had been recovering from an apparent nerve agent poisoning in Russia that he accuses the Kremlin of ordering.
On March 24, Navalny was sentenced to a further nine years for fraud and contempt of court. The opposition leader says the charges against him are fabricated and aimed at thwarting his political ambitions.
The judge ordered that Navalny, who has lambasted Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine as “stupid”, be transferred to a maximum-security prison, where his rights to visits and correspondence will be reduced.
Navalny had previously been serving his sentence at Correctional Colony No 2, a prison camp in Pokrov, 120 kilometres east of Moscow.
Navalny’s political network has been largely dismantled since his jailing, having been banned as an “extremist” organisation. Senior aides and organisers have either been jailed or forced into exile.
Navalny said two weeks ago he had been charged in a new criminal case with creating an extremist organisation and inciting hatred towards the authorities, offences that carry a maximum jail term of 15 more years.