Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is fighting for his life in a hospital in Siberia after falling ill from suspected poisoning during a flight to Moscow.
The 44-year-old leader, who went in a coma, has been put on ventilator support in the intensive care unit (ICU) for toxicology patients in Emergency Hospital No 1 in the Siberian city of Omsk.
Taking to Twitter, his spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said this morning that the Siberian hospital treating him is refusing to allow Navalny to be moved to another better-equipped facility where he can get better care after a suspected poisoning.
“The ban on transporting Navalny in an attempt on his life being carried out right now by doctors and the deceitful authorities that have authorised it,” Yarmysh wrote on micro-blogging site.
What really happened
According to Navalny’s spokeswoman Yarmysh, the Kremlin critic felt unwell on a flight back to Moscow from Tomsk, a city in Siberia after which the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk.
Yarmysh suspected toxic poisoning saying that the politician must have consumed something from the tea he drank this morning. Doctors are saying the toxin was absorbed quicker with hot liquid, she tweeted, adding that Navalny’s team called police to the hospital.
She told a local radio station that Navalny was sweating and asked her to talk to him so that he could focus on the sound of a voice.” He then went to the bathroom and lost consciousness.
His condition remains critical, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing the chief doctor at the hospital.
France, Germany voice concerns
Expressing concerns over the incident, the leaders of France and Germany have offered their assistance regarding Navalny’s health, asylum or protection.
“We are obviously very worried and saddened by the situation of Alexei Navalny,” said Emmanuel Macron, hosting Angela Merkel at his Mediterranean presidential retreat for talks. “We are obviously ready to provide any assistance necessary,” he added while calling for “clarity” on what had happened to Navalny.
Merkel, for her part, said the news had “truly upset me”.