Alexei Navalny’s team seeks answers over death as mother barred from morgue

Connie Queline

Alexei Navalny’s team seeks answers over death as mother barred from morgue

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Aptly nicknamed the Polar Wolf, the prison sits above the Arctic Circle and is described as a “special regime colony”, with temperatures in the region plummeting to -30C in winter.

It’s so much on the outskirts of civilisation that it makes it nearly impossible for visitors to reach the site.

Navalny was transported to the prison from his previous incarceration at the Melekhovo colony, approximately four hours from Moscow, where he had been serving a two-year sentence.

During his time in prison he suffered with health issues, perhaps as a result of being poisoned with Novichok, for which he had required life-saving treatment in the West.

Reporting debilitating back pain, stomach pain and numbness in his legs, the opposition politician was denied access to medical records, medication and subject to hourly night checks.

On 22 January, he explained how the prison wardens would often wake everybody up at 5am to play the Russian national anthem.

“And right after that – the second most important song in the country: Shaman’s ‘Ya Russky,'” he said, a song which translates to “I’m Russian” and has become an unofficial anthem of Vladimir Putin’s.

However, his humour and charisma were still apparent in December when he gave an insight into the 1,200 mile (1,930km) journey from Melekhovo to Kharp.

“The 20 days of my transportation were pretty exhausting, but I’m still in a good mood, as befits a Santa Claus,” he joked.

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