Russia. Pinel Colony “Arctic Wolf”, what is known about it

The special-security penal colony “Polar Wolf” in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, where Alexei Navalny served his long sentence, is famous for particularly harsh conditions and poor medical care – recalls the Russian independent portal Medusa.

“Arctic Wolf” is a special security colony, that is, a facility with the strictest conditions of all labor camps.

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Arctic climate

Colony No. 3 is located in the tundra, with an almost arctic climate, lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov, who specializes in protecting the rights of prisoners, told the Medusa portal.

– Conditions there are very difficult because there is a special regime and torture is actually legalized. It is noteworthy that last year the prosecutor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District accused the “Arctic Wolf” of violating regulations on labor safety, fire safety and sanitary standards. So everything is so bad in the colony, the lawyer said, that even the Russian prosecutor's office had to intervene.

In special security colonies, some prisoners serve their sentences in harsh conditions. They are kept in cells for 2-4 people and have very limited visitation rights – they are only allowed one long meeting a year. They are allowed to receive only one parcel per year. The walk usually takes place not in the open air, but in a large cell with additional air supply.

Entrance to the “Arctic Wolf” penal colony Reuters

No special clothing

Although the “Arctic Wolf” is located beyond the Arctic Circle and has severe frosts in winter, the prisoners do not receive special clothing. – They will not give them more things (…) – the lawyer told Medusa. – They can replace their shoes with walking boots. They are given a jacket with a sweater and a hat for walking. At all other times the person is in the prescribed attire.

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An employee of the “Sitting Rus” foundation (Protecting the rights of convicts and their families – ed.), managed to talk with some former prisoners of “The Polar Wolf”, Navalny was often there or in a separate cell (because in another colony he was known as a good speaker and so on Inmates started helping him), or along with fellow inmates cooperating with the prison administration.

CRIMINAL COLONY NO. 3 Area of ​​Penal Colony in SarpReuters

“Poor” medical care

A lawyer said it was difficult to say exactly how medicine is in the colony. In all likelihood, this is the worst.

According to an employee of “Sitting Russia”, the medical care where Navalny was serving his sentence was terrible – the prisoner was given an anti-diarrhea pill for practically all health problems.

There are no official reports of torture on “Arctic Wolf”. However, human rights activists say that prisoners there are sometimes brutally treated. The prisoners themselves say that torture is normal. For example, loud music is played all day and there are no radiators in the cells – freezing is then considered torture.

In the “permafrost” zone

Navalny was sent to a penal colony in the town of Sarb in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in December last year. “He was one of the most northern and remote penal colonies in Russia,” said a close associate of Kremlin critic Ivan Zhdano at the time. The plant – he said – is located in the “permafrost” zone, where conditions are very difficult.

According to assessments by Russian independent media, Penal Colony No. 3 in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug “has always functioned as a colony for particularly dangerous reformers.”

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Sarb village is located 60 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle and it is now a polar night. Administratively, it belongs to the town of Łabytnangi. It is connected to Moscow by a railway through Vorkuta,” reported the Russian section of Radio Svoboda.

Navalny previously served time in a penal colony in the Vladimir region. According to human rights defenders, taking Navalny to another location is a form of pressure on him using difficult climatic conditions.

PAP,, Radio Svoboda

Main photo source: Reuters

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