Russian opposition leader Alaxey Navalny has been located after being hidden from his lawyers for 17 days. On December 7th, 2023 his lawyer was denied access to the penal colony he was sentenced to in Melekhobo, Vladimir Oblast. For three days his lawyered anguished as they were denied access to the facility. Navalny’s website, “Russia Without Putin”, was also stricken from the internet within Russia on December 7th. On December 10th, his lawyers learned he was no loner registered at the Penal Colony Number 6 in Vladimir Oblast.
By December 11th, Presidential Spokesperson Peskov told press that the Presidents Office had no means to learn his location. The Vladimir Oblast Courts also told his lawyers the same day that an appeal date scheduled for December 15th, could not be conducted as Navalny’s presence “was not possible to ensure”, it then declined to publish his location.
On December 15th, 2023, the Vladimir Oblast court told his lawyers that Navalny was transferred out of the region, but did not say where. His appeal hearing was postponed until January 11th, then 16th due to “technical problems with the video link.” His lawyers were still not told where he was. However, this morning, Navalny’s lawyer was able to visit him at IK-3 Super-Maximum Prison Colony, alternatively known as “Polar Wolf” which is near Penal Colony 18 known as “Polar Owl.”
It is located on the bank of the Sob River near the Polar Urals in the Kharp urban-type settlement. It is one of the seven supermax corrective labor colonies operated by the Federal Penitentiary Service for convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in Russia. Kharp was founded in 1961 during the construction of the Salekhard–Igarka Railway. The core of the new settlement was a camp for prisoners who worked on laying the railway. Subsequently, the camp was transformed into a prison for particularly dangerous convicts. The prison received the status of a colony for life convicts in 2004.