In a nine-part post on Twitter, Alexei Navalny, an imprisoned Russian opposition politician who was recently transferred to a penal camp in the Arctic, announced himself.
Navalny begins joking about the Arctic environment, saying he is the new Santa Claus, even though there are no reindeer where he is taken, just big, furry guard dogs. He writes that his 20-day crossing has been extremely stressful, but he remains in good spirits “as befits Santa.” According to his account, he was transferred to the penal camp in the “Harp” settlement in such complete secrecy that he did not expect anyone to find him before mid-January, and he was surprised by the presence of his lawyer yesterday.
Navalny also stated that he “went for a walk” inside the complex. His “yard” is an adjacent cell, slightly larger than his own, with snow covering the floor. He saw a caravan “like in the movies: with machine guns, warm gloves, felt boots. And with equally gentle and beautiful sheepdogs.
In conclusion, he asks his followers not to worry about him. “I'm fine. I'm just relieved to finally be able to do this. Thanks again everyone for your support. And happy holidays! Since I'm Santa Claus, you're probably wondering about presents. But I, Santa, work in a special system, so those who behaved very badly “Only they get gifts.”
The imprisoned opposition leader was supposed to appear at a hearing a week ago, but he did not arrive, did not communicate via video call, and those close to him did not receive news about him even before that. It was not known at the time whether he could not be reached due to his health condition, or whether something else had happened to him, and it became clear on Monday that he had been transferred to the Northern Prison.
In 2014, Navalny received a suspended prison sentence in Russia due to his opposition political activity, and in 2020 he was poisoned with Novichok, which he considers to be the actions of President Putin. He was transferred to Germany for treatment, and from there, after recovering, he returned to Russian territory at the beginning of 2021, but here he was immediately imprisoned for violating the rules of suspended sentences (i.e. leaving the country). He has remained in detention ever since, and has been convicted in new proceedings, while being in alarming health conditions several times.