Putin’s Polar Wolf Prison (Where Navalny Died)

What is the weather like there?

Grant Piper

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(Wikipedia)

The name Polar Wolf is ominous, and it describes a prison that no one wants to be assigned to. Polar Wolf lies in a remote area of the Polar Urals in far northern Russia in western Siberia. The prison is located in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The entire region is only home to 500,000 people (1/26th that of Moscow.) This prison is where prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny was sent in 2023 and where he died in Feburary 2024.

Here is some basic information about this terrifying prison including why it is so dangerous and so feared. The prison is subjected to some of the coldest weather of any prison in the world.

A Gulag Past

Polar Wolf location (Google Maps)

Polar Wolf was built as a Soviet gulag in the 1960s. The original name of the penal colony was YATs-34/3. Prisoner labor turned an old campsite into a full fledged colony over many waves of construction. In 1967, the first group of prisoners was assigned to YATs-34/3 where they were assigned to nearby quarries to mine sand for railway beds.

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Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.