Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny
Photo: EPA
Alexi Navalny

Russian opposition figure Navalny in coma after poisoning

Navalny's spokeswoman says Putin's outspoken critic is in a 'grave condition' after falling ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow; she says the plane made an emergency landing after Navalny allegedly drank poisoned tea

Associated Press |
Published: 08.20.20 , 10:28
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is in a coma and on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit in Siberia after falling ill from suspected poisoning during a flight, his spokeswoman said Thursday morning.
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  • The 44-year-old foe of Russia's President Vladimir Putin felt unwell on a flight back to Moscow from Tomsk, a city in Siberia, Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. She said the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, Siberia, and that Navalny was suffering from "toxic poisoning."
    Alexi Navalny Alexi Navalny
    Alexi Navalny
    (Photo: EPA)
    "He is in a coma in grave condition," she said on Twitter.
    She also told the Echo Moskvy radio station that Navalny was sweating and asked her to talk to him so that he could "focus on a sound of a voice." He then went to the bathroom and lost consciousness.
    Yarmysh says the politician must have consumed something from the tea he drank this morning.
    "Doctors are saying the toxin was absorbed quicker with hot liquid," she tweeted, adding that Navalny's team called police to the hospital.
    The politician is in grave condition, Russia's state news agency Tass reported, citing the chief doctor at the hospital.
    Anti-Putin protestors arrested by police in Moscow Anti-Putin protestors arrested by police in Moscow
    Anti-Putin protestors arrested by police in Moscow
    (Photo: AP)
    Last year, Navalny was rushed to a hospital from prison where he was serving a sentence following an administrative arrest, with what his team said was suspected poisoning. Doctors then said he had a severe allergic attack and discharged him back to prison the following day.
    Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption has been exposing graft among government officials, including some at the highest level. Last month, the politician had to shut the foundation after a financially devastating lawsuit from Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close ties to the Kremlin.
    The most prominent member of Russia's opposition, Navalny campaigned to challenge Putin in the 2018 presidential election, but was barred from running.
    Anti-Putin demonstrators during a 2017 protest in Moscow Anti-Putin demonstrators during a 2017 protest in Moscow
    Anti-Putin demonstrators during a 2017 protest in Moscow
    (Photo: AP)
    He set up a network of campaign offices across Russia and has since been putting forward opposition candidates in regional elections, challenging members of Russia's ruling party, United Russia.
    Like many other opposition politicians in Russia, Navalny has been frequently detained by law enforcement and harassed by pro-Kremlin groups. In 2017, he was attacked by several men who threw antiseptic in his face, damaging one eye.

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