Navalny Placed In Punitive Solitary Confinement For Fifth Time Since Mid-August

Imprisoned Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has been placed in punitive solitary confinement for the fifth time since mid-August for what he says are politically motivated reasons.

Navalny's press secretary Kira Yarmysh wrote on Telegram on September 23 that the outspoken Kremlin critic was sent back to a punitive solitary confinement for 12 days, one day after he finished his previous 15-day term there.

Meanwhile, a video showing Navalny speaking at an unspecified court hearing via a video link appeared on his Twitter account. In the video, he says the decision to return him to the punitive cell was politically motivated because of his recent statements criticizing President Vladimir Putin's decision to launch a partial military mobilization for the war in Ukraine.

"To stand against the idea of sending hundreds of thousands of our people to kill other innocent people for nothing, I will go [to punitive confinement] for 12 days or more if it is necessary," Navalny said in the statement.

On September 21, hours after Putin announced the partial military mobilization amid recent Russian military losses in Ukraine, Navalny issued a statement condemning the move and accusing Putin of sending more Russians to their death for a failing war where some reports say tens of thousands of Russians have become casualties.

Navalny was arrested in January 2021 upon his return to Moscow from Germany, where he was treated for a poison attack in Siberia in 2020 with what European labs defined as a Soviet-style nerve agent.

Navalny has blamed Putin for the poison attack, which the Kremlin has denied.

He was then handed a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for violating the terms of an earlier parole during of his convalescence abroad. The original conviction is widely regarded as a trumped-up, politically motivated case.

In March, Navalny was sentenced in a separate case to nine years in prison on embezzlement and contempt charges that he and his supporters have repeatedly rejected as politically motivated.