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Doctors ban Navalny being transported abroad amid claim of ‘Kremlin pressure’

Written by on 21/08/2020

Doctors have banned Alexei Navalny, the Putin critic who is in a coma after a suspected poisoning, from being transported abroad.

His spokeswoman said doctors had caved to Kremlin pressure – but a head doctor said the decision was made because he was not well enough.

A plane had apparently been due to transport him to Germany for treatment following the alleged poisoning.

Alexei Navalny is seen at a Siberian airport before boarding the plane where he was taken ill. Pic: @djpavlin
Russian opposition leader ‘poisoned’

The long-time critic of President Vladimir Putin, 44, is fighting for his life on a ventilator after drinking tea that allies believe was laced with poison.

Doctors treating him in the Siberian city of Omsk have not yet confirmed that diagnosis – but said it is one of several versions they are considering.

Mr Navalny’s wife says police have reported “very dangerous” poison detected in his body, requiring hazmat procedures, local media reported.

However on Friday, head doctor Alexander Murakhovsky declined to answer questions whether Mr Navalny was poisoned or not.

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He said the Russian opposition leader’s condition had improved a little, but that it was still unstable and that attempting to move him could pose a risk to life.

Mr Murakhovsky added that there were five possible diagnoses of Mr Navalny’s condition and that test results would be available within two days.

He said that there are many legal questions to be resolved before the Russian opposition leader can be handed over to European doctors.

Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, claimed a doctor said on Friday that his condition was unstable and that the hospital refused to move him to another facility.

“The ban on transporting Navalny in an attempt on his life being carried out right now by doctors and the deceitful authorities that have authorised it,” Ms Yarmysh wrote on social media.

Mr Navalny’s allies want to take him out of the country to be treated, but Mr Murakhovsky said many legal questions would need to be resolved before that could happen.

He said top doctors had been flown in from Moscow to treat the politician.

A German air ambulance with a team specialised in treating coma patients was due to land in Omsk at around 6am, she said.

 Sky News

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