Sunday [3/7] was the 800th day Paul Whelan has been wrongfully detained by the Russian Federation. We believe that on March 5 - Paul's 51st birthday - Paul was visited by the Canadian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Alison LeClaire, and Consul Rebecca Braun. If so, it was a very kind gesture to make such a long trek and be there on his birthday. The Canadian Embassy hasn't confirmed the visit so this is all third-hand.
As we understand it, Ambassador LeClaire visited with Paul, spoke with Warden Denisov about Paul's mistreatment in the prison, and gave Paul a letter from Prime Minister Trudeau.
I'm sure it will be a birthday for Paul to remember, even in such awful conditions. The evening before (March 4), he was able to speak briefly with the US Ambassador, John Sullivan, by telephone on Paul's periodic check-in with the Embassy. The prison has made it difficult for Paul to make these calls, which can only be made in the evenings when Embassy staff have normally gone home. It was incredibly kind of the Ambassador to make the effort to be available.
This was Paul's third birthday spent in wrongful detention. Hopefully, Paul will not have to spend too many more milestones as a hostage of the Russian Federation.