Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Wednesday he had been placed in a solitary confinement cell for the fourth time in little over a month.
The opposition figure, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence on charges of fraud, parole violations and contempt of court, said he had just been released from a spell in solitary confinement when officers ordered him to return.
Navalny denies the charges against him and maintains he was jailed in order to thwart his political ambitions.
“I’ve just hit the jackpot. As soon as I got out… they sent me back there for another 15 days,” Navalny wrote Wednesday on his Twitter account, which is run by close associates.
Navalny has already been put in solitary confinement three times in August and September, following attempts to establish a labor union in his penal colony near the city of Vladimir.
“By the way, you gotta admire the pettiness of these crooks. My wife and parents had been waiting for a visit to me for four months, and now it's coming up, and they're moving me to strict conditions,” Navalny tweeted, explaining that visits from relatives are allowed much less often when prisoners are in solitary confinement.
Navalny, 46, previously described his solitary cell as a "concrete kennel" where it is forbidden to see other prisoners, or receive parcels and letters.
Images of Navalny shared by his supporters on social media last week showed him looking weary and drawn after spending nearly 600 days in prison.
Navalny said recent severe treatment was also a result of his call for Russian citizens to use so-called “smart voting” to defeat the ruling United Russia party in regional elections Sunday.