18.01.2022

Navalny in ‘Strong’ Pain, Team Fears for His Life: Lawyer

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is in great pain, his lawyer said Thursday after visiting him in prison, adding that allies feared for his life.

“He is suffering from strong back pain and pain in his right leg,” lawyer Olga Mikhailova said in remarks on Dozhd television, adding that his condition was “extremely unfavorable”.

“Everyone is afraid for his life and health.”

Navalny was jailed earlier this year after returning to Russia from Germany where he had been treated for a near-fatal poisoning with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent.

Mikhailova said his right leg was in “an awful condition” and he had been in pain for the past four weeks.

“He is losing sensation in his shin, he can’t use his leg,” she added.

Mikhailova said that on Wednesday Navalny had undergone a “strange” MRI examination in a hospital outside the prison but doctors did not release his health diagnosis.

She demanded that he be freed and transferred to Moscow for treatment.

Navalny’s lawyers managed to visit him in his prison in the town of Pokrov some 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow on Thursday, after they were denied a visit to the penal colony the day before.

Earlier in the day the prison service said Navalny was in a “satisfactory” condition.

He was arrested upon his return to Russia in January and was sentenced to two-and-a-half-years in jail the following month. He is serving his sentence outside Moscow, in a penal colony notorious for harsh discipline.

His jailing on old embezzlement charges sparked large protests, an outcry from rights groups in Russia and abroad and condemnation from Western governments.

Navalny Had ‘Alarming’ Hypothermia in Russia

Prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny had “alarming” hypothermia while he was undergoing treatment in Siberia, according to the NGO that organized his evacuation to Germany.

Navalny, 44, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin and the de facto leader of Russia’s opposition, remains in a coma after falling suddenly ill on a flight to Moscow on Aug. 20. His supporters claim that Navalny was poisoned shortly before the flight.

The Berlin-based Cinema for Peace Foundation told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency Sunday that German medics who arrived in the city of Omsk, where Navalny was first being treated, to plan his evacuation, observed hypothermia.

“After a whole day of diplomatic efforts on every level and drafting our own medical report with an extremely alarming low temperature of 34.2 degrees Celsius, we finally secured a decision to transport the patient at 22:00 local time Friday night,” the foundation said.

A body temperature below 35 degrees is defined as hypothermia caused by anything from low blood sugar to consumption of alcohol.

RIA Novosti quoted the statement as a press release, though it was not available on the NGO’s website or social media.

Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh has previously said no one but Navalny’s doctors, family or herself are authorized to share details about his condition with the public.

Berlin’s Charité hospital said last week that Navalny was poisoned with an unidentified substance belonging to a group of chemicals that affect the nervous system. Doctors in Omsk had ruled out poisoning, diagnosing Navalny with a metabolic disease.

In its latest statement Friday, Charité said Navalny’s symptoms have improved while his condition remains serious.

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