Alexei Navalny

Russia’s Navalny has mystery ailment which may be slow poisoning

Russia’s Navalny has mystery ailment which may be slow poisoning
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is shown on a monitor screen via video link from the penal colony No. 2 (IK-2) in Pokrov in Vladimir region, during a hearing of an appeal against Lefortovsky court sentence at the Moscow city court in Moscow, Russia, 24 May 2022 (reissued 21 February 2023). Russian troops on 24 February 2022, entered Ukrainian territory, starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. One year on, fighting continues in many parts of the country. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

MOSCOW, April 13 (Reuters) - Alexei Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition politician, is grappling with a mystery ailment in jail that could be some sort of slow acting poison and has lost 8 kg in weight in just over two weeks, his spokeswoman said.

An ambulance was called for Navalny overnight on Friday to Saturday to the maximum-security IK-6 penal colony at Melekhovo, about 250 km (115 miles) east of Moscow, where he is being held. Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, said in a video clip on Twitter accompanied by disturbing background music.

She said an unknown stomach complaint had flared up on Friday and that prison doctors had treated him in the past by injecting him with medicine which they had refused to identify.

“We do not rule out that at this very time Alexei Navalny is being slowly poisoned, being killed slowly so that it attracts less attention,” Yarmysh said in the Twitter post.

“He is being held in a punishment cell with acute pain without medical help,” she said.

When asked about claims that Navalny might be being slowly poisoned, the Kremlin said it was not following the state of his health and that it was a matter for the federal penitentiary service.

The penitentiary service, which has in the past denied allegations that its employees have mistreated Navalny and has said he has always been afforded medical treatment when needed, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Navalny, who is serving combined sentences of 11-1/2 years for fraud and contempt of court on charges he says were trumped up to silence him, said via Twitter on Tuesday that he had been moved back into solitary confinement and forced to endure “extremely hellish” conditions.

Yarmysh said he had suffered similar stomach pain in January after being treated with antibiotics for a virus and had again lost a lot of weight.

The German government said on Wednesday it was very worried about Navalny’s worsening health condition. Reuters could not independently verify the state of Navalny’s health.



Navalny is a former lawyer who rose to prominence more than a decade ago by lampooning President Vladimir Putin’s elite and voicing allegations of corruption on a vast scale. Navalny’s supporters cast him as a Russian version of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela who will one day be freed from jail to lead the country.

Conversely, Russian authorities view him and his supporters as extremists with links to the U.S. CIA intelligence agency intent on trying to destabilise Russia. They have outlawed his movement, forcing many of his followers to flee abroad.

In 2020, Navalny survived an apparent attempt to poison him during a flight in Siberia, with what Western laboratory tests determined was a nerve agent. Navalny accused the Russian state of trying to kill him, something it denied.

He was treated for that poisoning in Germany but voluntarily returned to Russia in 2021, where he was arrested on arrival and jailed.

Yarmysh said medicine sent to Navalny’s prison by his mother was not collected by prison officials from the post office and was returned.

His supporters had to battle with the prison authorities every time he fell ill to ensure he received some kind of treatment, she said.

“Abusing Alexei’s health is a regular practice of (prison) colony number six. All we can do right now (to help him) is to talk about Alexei everywhere,” said Yarmysh.

By Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Osborn

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Osborn; Editing by Peter Graff and Nick Macfie)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    This is a typical tactic and modus operandi from the evil and vile Putin and his diabolical regime. Cruel, beastly and cowardly. Dispose by murdering those who don’t agree with him/them, albeit now quietly, slowly and cunningly as there was too much negative publicity and obvious culprit in the 1st poisoning murder attempt on Navalny, and the subsequent successful murder of Litvinenko in the UK. There was a further unsuccessful attempt in the UK on another Russian dissident ie Skripal and others as well that I can’t name. Oligarchs, who dared to deviate, falling from windows or wholesale family “suicide” murders. Putin and his despicable minions are the devils behind all this and this is what our hideous anc supports!!! The anc wannabes! Same DNA – the only difference being that Putin and his regime are there already with nothing holding them back whilst the obnoxious anc are still in kindergarten, and who still have a mountain to climb by having to overcome/silence our media, judiciary NGOs etc. This is the only red line separating the two!

  • Rory Short says:

    This is no way to treat anybody.

  • The usual MSM echo chamber.

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