Top NewsRussian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has disappeared from prison,...

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has disappeared from prison, his group said

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CNN

Advocates Alexei Navalny On Monday they lost contact with the jailed Russian opposition leader, who is believed to be imprisoned in a penal colony about 150 miles east of Moscow and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Navalny was sentenced 19 years in prison In August, after he was found guilty of creating an extremist community, financing terrorist activities and other offences. He was already serving a sentence 11 and a half years He pleads not guilty in a maximum security facility on fraud and other charges.

Navalny’s supporters say his arrest and imprisonment are a politically motivated attempt to stifle his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors have made several attempts to gain access to the two penal colonies where Navalny is a victim. Serious health problems, is believed to be, spokeswoman Kira Yarmish told X on Monday. They were told the 47-year-old was not in IK-6 or IK-7 penal colonies, Yarmish added.

“Friday and throughout today, neither IK-6 nor IK-7 responded to them,” Yarmysh posted, adding that Navalny had been missing for six days. Navalny was last imprisoned in the IK-6 penal colony east of Moscow.

The White House said it was “deeply concerned” by reports of Navalny’s disappearance.

“He should be released immediately. He shouldn’t have been incarcerated in the first place, and we’re going to work with our embassy in Moscow to see how much more we can find,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Navalny is scheduled to appear in court via video link on Monday, Yarmish said. Prison officials told Navalny’s team that Navalny was unable to attend the hearing due to an electrical problem at the prison.

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Yarmish said he was concerned by Navalny’s recent decline in health.

“It is especially alarming that we could not find Alexey, because last week he fell ill in his cell: he was unconscious and lying on the floor. The colony staff immediately came running, lowered the bed and laid Alexey down. [him] In an IV,” she said in X.

“What it was, we don’t know, but he was without food, kept in a punishment cell with no ventilation, and his walking time was reduced to a minimum, and it seemed like a hunger pang,” Yarmush said.

Navalny’s death comes days after Putin announced it Run for President again With Russia’s elections in March 2024, he could retain power until at least 2030.

Navalny posed one of the most serious threats during Putin’s rule that lasted more than two decades. arranged Street protests against the government and used his blog and social media to expose alleged corruption in the Kremlin and Russian business.

The protester was transported from Russia to Germany in 2020, after he was poisoned Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. Navalny had to be airlifted from the Siberian city of Omsk to a hospital in Berlin in a coma.

A Joint investigation The Russian Security Service (FSB) was implicated in Navalny’s poisoning by CNN and the Bellinggate team. The investigation found that an FSB toxic team of about six to 10 agents followed Navalny for more than three years.

Navalny later betrayed one of the spies, Konstantin Kudryavtsev Reveals how he got poisoned. As a senior official in Russia’s National Security Council, he was tasked with analyzing the poisoning operation and phoned Kudryavtsev, who provided a detailed account of how nerve agents had been used in a pair of Navalny’s underwear.

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Russia denies any involvement in the posing of Nalwani. Putin said in December 2020 that if Russian security services had wanted to kill Navalny, they would have “finished” the job.

Tatyana Makeyeva/AFP/Getty Images

A screen showed Navalny arriving on September 26, 2023 to hear an appeal against his 19-year prison sentence.

Navalny was immediately imprisoned Return to Russia In January 2021, he was charged with violating the terms of his probation related to a fraud case brought against him in 2013, which he also denied was politically motivated.

He campaigned from prison against Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and tried to mobilize public opposition to the war.

“We will campaign against the war. And against Putin. Exactly. A long, stubborn, exhausting, but fundamentally important campaign, where we will turn people against war,” Navalny said in a statement on his website.

When Navalny was sentenced in August to 19 years in a maximum-security penal colony, he said “the number of years doesn’t matter.”

“I am well aware that I am sitting on a life sentence like many other political prisoners. Life is measured by my lifetime or the lifetime of this regime,” he said in a statement.

CNN’s Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.

This is important news and will be updated.

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