(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- In a stunning prison interview with the New York Times, Alexei Navalny claimed that he is forced to watch Russian propaganda films five days a week for eight hours a day.
Navalny, who is imprisoned at Russian Penal Colony Number 2, told the Times that this propaganda is part of an “awareness raising” program, and if he nods off during the 8-hour long broadcasts, a guard will yell at him to wake him up.
Comparing his prison to a Chinese labor camp, Navalny described it as a “culture of snitching” where everything is constantly controlled.
The mandatory “screen time” consists of watching films about Russia’s glorious history – from battles during World War Two to stories about Russian athletes who defeated Americans or Canadians. Calling the propaganda films “the essence of the ideology of the Putin regime,” Navalny said they replace the present and the future with a mixture of the truthful past, “or embellished past or completely fictional past.”
This practice of forced propaganda began in 2010 when Russia was trying to boost the guards’ control over inmates as a way to reduce the influence of prison gangs. Experts tell the New York Times that the intent is more about maintaining control than it is about brainwashing.
Navalny, a longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was imprisoned in March after returning home from Germany, where he was receiving treatment after being poisoned by Russian spies with the nerve gas Novicnok.
The Kremlin has consistently denied any involvement in Navalny’s poisoning and maintains that his prison sentence is not political.
For several weeks after being imprisoned, Navalny suffered from numbness in his limbs, either from the effects of the poisoning or from a back injury he sustained during his arrest. When he was unable to get treatment for the pain, Navalny launched a 24-day hunger strike.
Guards had been waking him up every hour at night to make sure he wasn’t planning an escape. But when that practice stopped, his physical symptoms began to ease.
Navalny told the Times that he understands why sleep deprivation is a favorite torture among the special services. “No traces remain,” he explained.
Despite his harsh imprisonment, Navalny remains hopeful about the future of Russia. He believes that the regime of Vladimir Putin will one day end, and Russia “will move on to a democratic, European path of development,” because that’s what people want.