PUTIN FOE NAVALNY’S HEALTH DECLINES, AIDES WARN HE MAY DIE
Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s condition has worsened sharply after 2 1/2 weeks of hunger strike, his supporters said on Saturday, April 17, 2021, Henry Meyer reported for Bloomberg News.
“Alexei is dying now. Given his condition, it’s a matter of days,” Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Facebook. Anastasia Vasilieva, who heads the Alliance of Doctors union that is backed by Navalny, posted a copy of his blood test results showing what she said were “critical” levels of potassium.
“This signifies kidney failure which can lead at any time to a severe disruption to his heartbeat” including the possibility of heart failure, she said on Twitter.
US President Joe Biden was asked about Navalny’s condition on Saturday. “It’s totally, totally unfair,” Biden told reporters in brief remarks, adding it’s “totally inappropriate.”
Navalny, 44, has been held at the notorious IK-2 prison camp about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Moscow since March 11. President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critic was imprisoned for breaking parole rules while he was recovering in Germany from a near-fatal chemical poisoning in Siberia that he and Western governments blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities deny involvement.
After complaining of acute back and leg pains, Navalny began a hunger strike on March 31 to demand specialist care from doctors outside the prison system. In a post on his Instagram account Friday, Navalny’s allies reported that a prison official had warned him that a blood test indicated a “serious deterioration” in his health and that he would be force-fed if he didn’t end the protest.