The Kremlin claims it has no idea where Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny is.
Navalny’s supporters haven’t heard from the imprisoned anti-corruption activist in seven days.
The 47-year-old was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent back in 2020. He was airlifted to Germany for treatment, and has been incarcerated in Russia since January 2021 on charges that continue to mount.
His spokeswoman hasn’t heard from him in days, but the Kremlin says that’s not their problem.
“We have neither the intention nor the ability to track the fate of prisoners, and the process of their stay in the relevant institutions,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
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Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh says she has tried to contact two penal colonies where Navalny is thought to be.
“On Friday and throughout today, neither IK-6 nor IK-7 responded to them,” she wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Navalny was sentenced to 19 years in prison in August after he was charged with the “creation of an extremist community.” That was on top of the 11-and-a-half he was already serving on charges that he denies.
He is also currently facing new charges of vandalism, though he missed a court date on Monday as he remains missing.
News of Navalny’s disappearance came days after he announced a presidential campaign against Putin from prison.
Navalny said back in August: “The number of years does not matter.
“I perfectly understand that, like many political prisoners, I am sitting on a life sentence. Where life is measured by the term of my life or the term of life of this regime.”
The White House says it is “deeply concerned” about Navalny’s disappearance.
“He should be released immediately. He should never have been jailed in the first place, and we’re going to work with our embassy in Moscow to see how much more we can find out,” said US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.