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Russia moves ailing Putin critic Navalny to prison hospital

745ng | April 19, 2021

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is being moved to a prison hospital and the authorities there say his condition is “satisfactory”.

He has been on hunger strike for 20 days, complaining of inadequate medical attention. He is in the Pokrov penal colony 100km (62 miles) east of Moscow.

Russia moves Navalny to prison hospital amid outcry over Kremlin critic's  health

The FSIN prison service says he is being examined by a doctor daily and he has agreed to take vitamins.

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He was poisoned with a nerve agent last August and only narrowly survived.

After his transfer to intensive care in Berlin, toxicologists concluded that the poison was Russian weapons-grade Novichok.

Western governments blamed the Russian state for the attack, and Navalny blamed President Vladimir Putin directly. The Kremlin denied any involvement and disputed the conclusion about Novichok.

Russia’s Interior Ministry has now warned the population against holding any pro-Navalny street protests. There were thousands of arrests at such protests in January.

Navalny supporters have called for rallies on Wednesday – the day of a state-of-the-nation speech by President Putin.

“Any aggressive actions by participants in unauthorised public meetings, especially attempts to provoke clashes with law enforcement officials, will be regarded as a threat to public safety and immediately suppressed,” the ministry said.

Navalny’s doctors warned he would “die within the next few days” if not given urgent medical attention for acute back pain and leg numbness.

He started a hunger strike on 31 March in protest at not being able to see his own medical team. His doctors say recent blood test results indicate he could suffer kidney failure and go into cardiac arrest at any moment.

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Putin critic Navalny on hunger strike over Russian prison treatment


Earlier, the US warned Russia there would be “consequences” if Navalny, 44 – the most prominent critic of President Putin – were to die in jail.

The UK, France, Germany and the European Union also expressed their concern over his treatment and demanded his release.

Navalny was jailed in February for old embezzlement charges, which he claims are politically motivated.

The European Court of Human Rights found violations of justice in the case against him.

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