Doctors fear Putin critic Navalny 'could die any moment' | Ripples Nigeria
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Doctors fear Putin critic Navalny ‘could die any moment’



Doctors treating jailed Alexey Navalny, the opposition leader and staunch critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, say he ‘could die at any moment’ if he does not get urgent medical treatment.

In a statement released on Sunday, the doctors say Navalny is at risk of a cardiac arrest as his kidneys have been impaired after weeks on hunger strike.

Navalny was arrested on January 17 when he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

He was ordered to serve two and a half years in prison on the grounds that his long recovery in Germany violated a suspended sentence he had been given for a fraud conviction in a case that Navalny says was politically motivated.

Read also: Russian president, Putin, signs law allowing him to remain in power till 2036

Navalny’s personal doctor said the imprisoned 44-year-old Russian opposition leader who is in the third week of a hunger strike, could be on the verge of death as his health is deteriorating rapidly.

Physician Yaroslav Ashikhmin said on Saturday that test results he received from Navalny’s family show him with sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys.

“Our patient could die at any moment,” Ashikhmin said in a Facebook post.

Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Navalny-backed Alliance of Doctors union, said on Twitter that “action must be taken immediately”.

His personal physicians have not been allowed to see him in prison, according to Vasilyeva.

Navalny who is Putin’s most visible and adamant opponent went on a hunger strike to protest against the refusal to let his doctors visit him when he began experiencing severe back pain and a loss of feeling in his legs.

Navalny reported on Saturday that prison authorities had threatened to put him in a straitjacket to force-feed him unless he abandons his hunger strike.

However, Russia’s state penitentiary service has denied any mistreatment of Navalny, saying he is receiving all the medical help he needs.

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