Russia’s most prominent opposition leader was reported to be in “serious condition” in intensive care in a Siberian hospital. His spokeswoman said he might have been poisoned while taking a flight to Moscow.
By Yonette Joseph, New York Times
Aleksei A. Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, was in intensive care and unconscious in a Siberian hospital on Thursday after suffering symptoms of what his spokeswoman called poisoning.
A plane carrying Mr. Navalny, 44, who was returning to Moscow, made an emergency landing in Omsk after he started feeling unwell, the spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said on Twitter.
“We assume that Alexei was poisoned with something mixed with his tea,” Ms. Yarmysh wrote. “That’s the only thing he drank this morning.”
The head doctor at the hospital in Omsk, Alexander Murakhovsky, said Mr. Navalny was in “serious condition,” according to the Russian news agency Tass. No further details were released, and the government had no immediate comment on Mr. Navalny’s condition.
Last year, he was hospitalized with a “severe allergic reaction” in jail, which his doctor at the time suggested could be the result of a poisoning, after he was detained for leading an unauthorized election protest.
He had been arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail for calling a rally to protest a decision by the election authorities to bar several opposition candidates from running for Moscow’s City Council.
Mr. Navalny, a lawyer, anticorruption activist and vocal critic of President Vladimir V. Putin, was doused with a bright green liquidin the Siberian city of Barnaul in 2017 by an unknown assailant who had pretended to shake his hand.
He said that a doctor had told him he had lost 80 percent of the sight in one eye after suffering a chemical burn from the green liquid.
While there was no independent confirmation that Mr. Navalny had been poisoned before falling ill on Thursday, the Russian security services have been suspected of targeting a number of dissidents and others, including Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian double agent who was poisoned in England in 2018.
I am reading a book called Putin’s People by Catherine Belton who was the Moscow Correspondent for the Financial Times from 2007-2013.
The book shows how criminal Putin and his cronies are and it all started in St. Petersburg where Putin was Deputy Mayor. It is a fascinating read.
This is a man who is admired by Trump and Johnson and tells you a lot about them both.