Putin critic Navalny sent to solitary confinement for washing face too early

Perhaps the most notable Putin critic in the world, Navalny is serving an 11.5-year prison sentence for his dissidence.

 Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via video link from the IK-2 corrective penal colony in Pokrov before a court hearing to consider an appeal against his prison sentence, in Moscow, Russia May 17, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via video link from the IK-2 corrective penal colony in Pokrov before a court hearing to consider an appeal against his prison sentence, in Moscow, Russia May 17, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)

Renowned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said he was placed in solitary confinement for the 10th time since he was sentenced to jail in March – this time for reportedly washing his face around 30 minutes before he was scheduled to, the dissident said on his Instagram profile Monday.

Navalny said he was placed in solitary just before the start of the New Year's Holiday. “My plans for a fancy New Year’s Eve were ruined – I had prepared a pack of potato chips and a can of fish [to celebrate],” Navalny wrote on Instagram.

Navalny added that one of his cellmates was sent to a medical ward before being sent back to Navalny’s cell a day later – a practice Navalny said was routine in the prison as a means of infecting inmates. 

“Unfortunately, the bacteriological weapon worked. Navalny is now in a SHU cell with a fever and cough. We’re trying to give him medicine,” Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev said in a tweet Monday. 

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny takes part in a rally in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2020.  (credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV/FILE PHOTO)Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny takes part in a rally in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV/FILE PHOTO)

Navalny’s criticism of Putin’s Russia

Navalny's criticism of Vladimir Putin’s regime since the 2010s, which has made him among the most prominent Putin critics in Russia and around the world, culminated in his near-fatal poisoning in Siberia in 2019. The Kremlin has denied involvement in the poisoning, though many have speculated that Putin’s regime was indeed responsible for the poisoning.

In 2021, Navalny was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for parole violations after returning from Germany after recovering from the attempted poisoning. He was again sentenced to an additional nine years in March for fraud and contempt of court.

Hundreds of Russian doctors signed an open letter published Tuesday urging Russian President Vladimir Putin "to stop abusing" the jailed Kremlin critic. 

“We cannot and do not have the right to look calmly at the deliberate infliction of harm to the health of politician Alexei Navalny,” the letter, published by the independent Meduza news website and reposted on Facebook, said.