The main Kremlin opponent, Alexei Navalni, arrived on Sunday (28) in an area 200 kilometers east of Moscow to enter a penal colony where he will serve his sentence, Russian news agency RIA reported.
According to the secretary general of the Moscow Public Surveillance Commission, Alexei Melnikov, Navalni will be quarantined before being transferred to one of the prisons in the region.
Navalni will be transferred to penal colony number 2, located in the small town of Pokrov, in the Vladimir region of European Russia.
This detention center, with a capacity of 800 detainees, is under normal conditions, meaning that the conditions of detention are less severe than in other prisons.
Russian prison service chief Alexander Kalashnikov announced on Friday that Navalni had already been transferred. “No threat to his life or his health weighs on the main adversary of the country,” he added.
As in the days of the former Soviet Union, most prison terms in Russia are served in prison camps which are sometimes far from it all. The work of prisoners, usually in sewing or furniture workshops, is often compulsory.
On Thursday, Navalni’s lawyers and relatives announced his release from the Moscow detention center, where he had been held since his arrest.
Russian justice last week confirmed the conviction of a 44-year-old anti-corruption activist in a 2014 fraud case that he and many Western capitals and NGOs denounce as a politician. In total, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, of which he has already served ten months at home.
Navalni was arrested on January 17 upon his return from Germany, where he spent nearly five months recovering from poisoning the Kremlin accused of causing.
The activist is formally accused of violating the conditions of his probation by leaving the country, even though the release occurred for medical reasons – he was in a coma.
Navalni was sentenced to a commuted prison sentence for fraud in 2014, in a trial he calls judicial harassment. Although nominally independent, the Russian judiciary is generally aligned with the Kremlin.
The opponent was also fined for defamation and is awaiting a new trial and investigation for fraud, punishable by ten years in prison.