“They put me in solitary confinement, it’s like I’m in a tiny concrete pen, measuring 2.5 by 3 meters.” Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most ardent critic, made public about his lawyers in a post on Twitter that he was “punished” by authorities at the prison where he is being held, the IK-6 penal colony in Melekhovo, Vladimir, some 250 km (155 miles) east of Moscow. According to him, the reason for the punishment is mocking: he did not button the top button of his prison uniform, several sizes too small for him. Allegations, he argues, were fabricated as an excuse to put him in jail to counter his political ambitions.
Describing the state he is in, the dissident said, “Most of the time it’s unbearable there because it’s scolded and wet. There is water on the floor. I took the beach version: it’s very hot and there’s hardly any air,” he wrote. “The window is tiny, but the walls are too thick for airflow – even the cobwebs don’t move. There is no ventilation. At night you lie there and feel like a fish on the shore. At 5am they take away your mattress and pillow. There is an iron table, an iron bench, a sink, a hole in the floor and two cameras on the ceiling ».
Navalny, who returned to Russia from Germany in 2021, where he was being treated for a poisoning attempt in Siberia, Western lab tests have shown, is serving an 11-and-a-half-year sentence after being found guilty of violating his liberty, monitoring, fraud and charges of allegations.