The Kremlin is tightening prison conditions for activist and well-known opposition figure Alexey Navalny. As his employees told the “Spiegel”, they were informed that Navalny’s lawyer’s privilege, the right to confidential communication with his lawyer, had been revoked.

That means: All conversations are now being monitored and documents checked for three days. The reason given was that Navalny was committing crimes from prison. The slot through which he could exchange papers with the lawyer was immediately taped shut.

Leonid Volkov, one of Navalny’s closest confidants, believes that the decision has to do with the course of the front in Ukraine. “In mid-August, Putin must have given the order to increase the pressure on Alexei. Putin is losing the war and is getting nervous,” Volkov told Der Spiegel.

In any case, the management of the penal camp is trying to wear Navalny down. He had to live in an isolation cell for a month. “All he has in it is a small table, a small chair and a bed that is folded up from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. so he can’t use it,” says Volkov. Overall, the cell is only two by three meters in size.

Volkov is worried: “Alexej’s health has already deteriorated because he cannot do his physiotherapy exercises there under these conditions”. And further: “That’s why we are very concerned that his life is at risk, indirectly because his health is threatened, but also directly because we can now communicate with him much less.”