Navalny’s whereabouts are unknown and a Russian prison says he’s no longer there, a spokeswoman says

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as he appears in 2022 in a video link in a courtroom of the Second Cassation Court of General Jurisdiction in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo, File)

TALLINN, Estonia — The whereabouts of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were unknown on Monday as officials at the penal colony where he is serving his sentence told one of his lawyers that he is no longer on the inmate roster, his spokeswoman said.

It had been nearly a week since the spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, had contacted Navalny. Prison officials “refuse to say where they transferred him,” she said in posts on X, formerly known as Twitter.


A Navalny lawyer waiting at another penal colony in the region where he could have been transferred was told the facility had no such inmate, Yarmysh said.

“It remains unclear where Alexei is,” she wrote.

Navalny has been serving a 19-year term on charges of extremism in a maximum-security prison, Penal Colony No. 6, in the town of Melekhovo in the Vladimir region, about 230 kilometers (140 miles) east of Moscow. He was due to be transferred to a “special security” penal colony, a facility with the highest security level in the Russian penitentiary system.

Russian prison transfers are notorious for taking a long time, sometimes weeks, during which there’s no access to prisoners and information about their whereabouts is limited or unavailable.

Navalny could be transferred to one of a number of such penal colonies across Russia.

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