Support The Moscow Times!

Navalny Says 'Everything Fine' in Message From Jail

Alexei Navalny said he has arrived at the penal colony where he will serve his prison sentence of two years and six months. EPA / TASS

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny quipped that "everything is fine" and made jokes about prison life Wednesday as he sent his first message from a detention center outside Moscow.

In the message posted on Instagram, President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic said he was being held in the Kolchugino detention center in the Vladimir region northeast of Moscow.

"But everything is fine with me, there's even a chin-up bar in the exercise yard here," he said.

Navalny was sentenced last month to two and a half years in a penal colony for breaching parole terms while in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack.

His message was posted after his defence team visited him in the Kolchugino jail, where he is under quarantine.

One of his lawyers, Olga Mikhailova, said he was expected to be held there until his sentence came into force and that he was in a good mood.

"He's feeling well," Mikhailova told AFP, adding that Navalny was sharing a cell with two people.

"The cell has nothing except a TV," she said, adding that he could not receive letters or buy anything in jail.

Mikhailova said it was not yet clear where Navalny would eventually be serving out his full sentence.

A Moscow official had earlier said it would be at a prison in the town of Pokrov in the Vladimir region called Penal Colony No. 2.

In the light-hearted message, Navalny said he was not aware of what was happening in the world and has not yet managed to get any books from the jail library.

"That's why the only entertainment is haute cuisine experiments," he said, adding he and his cellmates were drying bread to make croutons.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.