Russian doctors refuse to evacuate opponent Alexei Navalny abroad

Health or political decision? Doctors at the Siberian hospital, where Russian opponent Alexei Navalny is being treated, denied that his transfer abroad was due to his “unstable condition”. Navalny’s team condemns a “political decision”, which endangers the life of the opponent.

The medical evacuation abroad of the main Russian opponent, Alexei Navalny, was blocked on Friday, August 21, by doctors from the Siberian hospital in Omsk. A decision that sparked anger from Navalny’s team, who fear more and more for the opponent’s life being placed in intensive care after a suspected poisoning.

“The chief doctor announced that Navalny could not be transported. His condition is unstable,” spokeswoman Kira Larmych said on Twitter, saying it would be “deadly dangerous to leave him in an unarmed hospital in Omsk, with a diagnosis still pending.”

According to her, the decision of the opponent’s relatives is not enough to trigger his transfer to be treated abroad, the doctors refuse to do so.

The opponent’s right-wing man, Leonid Volkov, condemned a “political decision and not a medical decision”. “They are waiting for the toxins to come out and stop being detected in the body. There is no diagnosis or analysis. Alexe’s life is in great danger,” he wrote on Twitter.

Alexandre Murakhovsky, the doctor in charge of the medical team treating Alexei Navalny, replied that the transfer of his patient could be fatal, and that it was therefore necessary to stabilize his condition before a possible evacuation. According to him, Navalny’s condition has improved somewhat while remaining very unstable.

The deputy chief physician also announced that there was no trace of poison in the Russian opponent’s body.

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Alexei Navalny, one of the harshest critics of the Kremlin, flew from Tomsk to Moscow when he became ill. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, western Siberia.

The opponent was taken to a hospital there, placed in intensive care and connected to a ventilator. His allies said they believed he was the victim of “intentional poisoning”.

France and Germany on Thursday offered “all medical assistance”, while a medical aircraft was granted overnight from Germany by a non-governmental organization with the aim of returning Alexeï Navalny there.

“It is clearly safer on board a modern plane than at the hospital in Omsk, transfer it as quickly as possible,” asked Leonid Volkov.

Opponents of the Kremlin, whose publications condemning the corruption of Russian elites are widely shared on social networks, Alexei Navalny has previously been the victim of physical attacks. His organization and supporters are regularly subjected to pressure and legal proceedings.

With AFP and Reuters