Opposition leader of Russia hospitalized after suspected poisoning

Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny (C) takes part in a memorial march for Boris Nemtsov marking the fifth anniversary of his assassination in Moscow, Russia, 29 February 2020. Photo by EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

Moscow, Russia — The opposition leader of Russia, Alexey Navalny has been hospitalized after suspected poisonous.

The outspoken Kremlin critic, Navalny was unconscious and on a ventilator in a Siberian hospital after falling ill from suspected poisoning on Thursday, his spokesperson said.

The 44-year-old started feeing unwell on his return flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said. The plane later had to make an urgent landing in Omsk, she added.

“We assume that Alexey was poisoned with something mixed into the tea. It was the only thing that he drank in the morning. Doctors say the toxin was absorbed faster through the hot liquid,” said Yarmysh.

Yarmysh informed the people that Navalny remains unconscious and is now connected to a ventilator. She also added that the intensive care unit is full of police officers.

The head physician Alexander Murakhovsky of the hospital said that Navalny is admitted at Omsk emergency hospital No. 1 and currently is in a “serious condition,” according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Another state media of Russia, RIA Novosti said that the hospital staff reported that Navalny was in an emergency unit and that his condition was “serious, stable.”

“They try to get an explanation from the doctor. The doctor saw me in the distance in the corridor, said that ‘some things are confidential’ and took the police to another room,” Yarmysh said.
“The evasive reaction of doctors only confirms that this is poisoning,” Yarmysh added. “Just two hours ago, they were ready to share any information, and now they are clearly biding for time and are not saying what they know.”

Navalny had previously suggested that he might have been poisoned in July on 2019, when he was being held in police custody and had mysteriously suffered an allergic reaction.