Russia’s muckraking blogger, Alexei Navalny, has been on a prison hunger strike for three weeks and “could die at any moment,” according to the prison physician treating him. Navalny went on the hunger strike because authorities would not let his personal physicians treat him in prison.
Navalny is suffering the after-effects of being poisoned by a powerful nerve agent, presumably by the FSB, the successor to the KGB. He was jailed after returning from Germany where Western doctors saved his life. But Navalny did not get permission to stay in Germany for five months and was arrested following his return to Russia in January.
A Russian court sentenced him to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Navalny is Vladimir Putin’s most visible and effective critic. His network of investigators and bloggers had exposed Putin’s billion-dollar vacation home, bringing angry threats from Putin’s office. Shortly after that, he was injected with the nerve agent and almost died.
Navalny has been very effective in exposing corruption over the last few years and has angered many of the country’s wealthy elites, most of whom are Putin cronies. But if Putin was expecting prison to silence Navalny, he is being very disappointed.
The prison doctor says Navalny has sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys.
The letter shared on Twitter by a key Navalny ally and head of a prominent opposition doctor’s union, Anastasia Vasilyeva, said Navalny’s doctors have serious concerns about his current health condition.
“We urgently request to hold negotiations and an urgent medical conсilium with the medical workers of the Medical Unit No. 33 to discuss the diagnostic tests carried out and the treatment to be prescribed, as well as to take the patient out of a critical condition threatening a fatal outcome,” a copy of the letter shared by Vasilyeva said. “We ask to be admitted to the examination of our patient, who has been observed for many years.”
The Kremlin says they will not give Navalny “special treatment.”
Navalny said in a post on his official Instagram account on Friday that he is being threatened with force-feeding as he continues a hunger strike. Navalny said Friday that his blood test results show his health is deteriorating.
He has been diagnosed with two hernias and is losing feeling in both hands, one of his lawyers, Olga Mikhailova, said in an interview with Russian media last week.
U.S. President Joe Biden gave President Putin a piece of his mind.
“It’s totally, totally unfair,” Biden said, according to a pool report. “Totally inappropriate.”
Criticizing Putin for not being “fair” is almost surreal. What’s fair got to do with anything? Is Biden suggesting Putin isn’t playing by the rules? Biden is the type of guy to bring a knife to a gunfight and whine about “fairness.”
Vladimir Putin is going to win because Vladimir Putin doesn’t play by any rules. He acts in his own best interests. His domestic and foreign critics can whine and plead all they, but Putin is impervious to such importunings because he doesn’t care.