Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Navalny 'no longer on list' of prisoners at penal colony, whereabouts unknown

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 11, 2023 7:18 PM 2 min read
A screen shows jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as he arrives to listen to a hearing on an appeal lodged against a court decision to jail him for 19 years in a maximum security prison on extremism-linked charges, at a court in Moscow on Sept. 26, 2023. (Tatyana Makeyeva / AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been transferred to another location from his penal colony but the prison authorities are refusing to say where, Navalny's press secretary Kira Yarmysh posted on X on Dec. 11.  

The authorities have refused to give Navalny's lawyers access to the politician for six days, and his location is currently unknown. The Kremlin has been trying to prevent Navalny from communicating with the outside world and delivering his messages.

The developments come amid an intensifying crackdown on the opposition by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election. The imprisonment of Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition politician, is widely believed to be Putin's vendetta for his criticism of the dictator.

The IK-6 Melekhovo high-security prison in the Vladimir region, where Navalny had been held, claimed that he is "no longer on their list" of prisoners, but "they refuse to say where he was transferred," Yarmysh said.

"Today, as on Friday, the lawyers tried to get to IK-6 and IK-7 —  two penal colonies in the Vladimir region where Alexei might be," but both prisons "denied that he is being held there," Yarmysh posted again on Dec. 11.  

Navalny did not appear in court via video link as expected on Dec. 7, which the prison representatives claimed was due to electricity problems, Yarmysh said.

On Oct. 13, three of Navalny’s lawyers — Igor Sergunin, Alexey Liptser, and Vadim Kobzev — were arrested on charges of being members of Navalny’s team – peaceful opposition activities that the Kremlin calls “extremism."

Alexander Fedulov, another attorney who represented Navalny, said on Oct. 17 that he had fled Russia.

Navalny had been serving a 2.5-year prison sentence since 2021 and a separate 9-year sentence on fraud charges since 2022. In that year, he was transferred to the IK-6 Melekhovo high-security penal colony.

In August 2023 a Russian court also sentenced Navalny to 19 years in a maximum security prison on extremism charges for creating the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a peaceful civic watchdog. According to the Russian independent media outlet Verstka, the latest verdict means he will be in jail until the late 2040s.

All these cases have been recognized as politically motivated and fabricated by international human rights organizations and governments.

In 2020 Navalny was also poisoned in Russia and flown for treatment in Germany. German doctors said he had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent — a chemical weapon produced by the Russian government.

The Insider, Bellingcat, CNN and Der Spiegel published an investigation according to which Navalny had been poisoned by agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service. They also identified the agents' names.

Brittney Griner calls for more effort to free Americans detained overseas
WNBA star Brittney Griner on Dec. 8 commemorated one year since her release from Russia and called for more effort to free others currently detained overseas, highlighting the plight of wrongfully imprisoned Americans Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich, The Hill reported.
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:36 PM

Ukraine retrieves bodies of 254 fallen soldiers.

The Geneva Conventions dictate that people who lost their lives during war are entitled to a dignified burial. Over 2,400 fallen soldiers have been repatriated to Ukraine in the last two years.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:36 AM

Ukraine preparing 10 more bilateral security agreements, Zelensky says.

Over 30 countries have joined the Group of Seven (G7) Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine so far. The U.S. and Japan joined 15 other countries on June 13, including the U.K., Germany, and France, that have signed similar bilateral treaties to help Kyiv repel Russia's aggression.
6:16 AM

Drone attack in Rostov Oblast causes blackouts, fire.

Russian air defense units faced a "mass attack" of drones in the region's Morozovsk district, Rostov Oblast Governor Vasily Golubev reported. The attack caused a fire and left some parts of the area without power.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.