Russian opposition leader and Putin critic Alexei Navalny is describing the prison colony where he is being held as a “real concentration camp” where swearing is prohibited and he is woken up by guards every hour.
Navalny, who now appears to have a shaven head, made the comments about the facility in Pokrov in a post that surfaced on his Instagram account.
“I have to admit that the Russian prison system was able to surprise me,” he wrote, according to a translation of the post. “I had no idea that it was possible to arrange a real concentration camp 100 km from Moscow.”
Navalny continued by saying that life in the colony is “literal fulfillment of endless rules.”
“Swearing and slang words are prohibited. And this prohibition is strictly enforced,” he said. “Can you imagine a prison where they don’t swear? A terrible thing.”
He added that “video cameras are everywhere, everyone is watched and at the slightest violation they make a report.”
“I think someone upstairs read Orwell’s 1984 and said ‘Yeah, cool. Let’s do this,’” Navalny also wrote.
The 44-year-old Putin foe survived a poisoning last August that has been blamed on Moscow. He is now serving out a two-and-a-half-year sentence stemming from a 2014 fraud case the European Court of Human Rights ruled was unlawful, arbitrary and politically motivated.
Navalny was taken into custody by Russian authorities in mid-January after returning from Germany, where he spent months recovering from the poisoning. His arrest sparked massive protests across Russia, resulting in the detainment of around 11,000 demonstrators, according to the Associated Press.
Despite the grim conditions mentioned at the camp, Navalny wrote in his post on Monday that “overall, I’m doing well.”
However, “every hour I wake up from the fact that a man in a pea jacket is standing next to my bed,” he added. “And again I calmly fall asleep with the thought that there are people who remember me and will never lose. Great, isn’t it?”
Fox News’ Amy Kellogg contributed to this report.