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Prominent Putin foe was poisoned says German hospital

Aleksei Navalny (Evgeny Feldman/Novaya Gazeta/Wikimedia Commons)
August 24, 2020

Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was poisoned, according to a statement from Berlin’s Charité Hospital.

Charité Hospital tweeted the findings of Navalny’s clinical results Monday morning.

“The clinical findings indicate intoxication by a substance from the group of active substances called cholinesterase inhibitors. The specific substance is not yet known and another broad analysis has been initiated,” the hospital’s translated statement reads. “The effect of the toxin i.e. the inhibition of cholinesterase in the organism has been proven several times in independent laboratories. According to the diagnosis, the patient is treated with the antidote atropine. The outcome of the disease remains uncertain and long-term consequences, especially in the area of the nervous system, cannot be ruled out at this point in time.”

Navalny fell ill on Thursday during a flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk. He was initially hospitalized in Siberia and in a coma.

Navanly was allowed to be evacuated from Russia to Germany on Saturday, but associates continued to describe his condition as “very worrying.” German police bolstered security around the Berlin hospital where he was being treated.

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As a prominent Putin critic, Navalny has raised numerous allegations of corruption in the past. Navalny has been barred from running for president and had a bid to run for Moscow mayor blocked.

If the claims of poisoning are accurate as the German hospital said, it would not be the first time Navalny has suffered attacks.

He suffered chemical burns to one of his eyes in 2017 after he was splashed with an antiseptic dye. He has also been jailed several times and in one case, in July 2019, Navalny was given a 30-day jail term after calling for unauthorized protests. During that jail sentence, he fell ill and was hospitalized with severe swelling of the face, for which he later alleged he was poisoned.

 

A translation of the Charité Hospital statement reads:

Since the weekend, doctors from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been treating Alexei Navalny. The patient is in an intensive care unit and is still in an artificial coma. His health is serious, but there is currently no acute danger to his life.

The team of doctors examined the patient in detail after his arrival. The clinical findings indicate intoxication by a substance from the group of active substances called cholinesterase inhibitors. The specific substance is not yet known and a further wide-ranging analysis has been initiated. The effect of the toxin i.e. the cholinesterase inhibition in the organism has been proven several times and in independent laboratories.

According to the diagnosis, the patient is treated with the antidote atropine. The outcome of the disease remains uncertain and long-term consequences, especially in the area of ​​the nervous system, cannot be ruled out at this point in time.

The treating doctors are in close contact with Alexei Navalny’s wife. In agreement with his wife, the Charité assumes that the public communication on the state of health is in his favor.