German doctors who have been treating Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, say tests indicate that he had been poisoned
German doctors at Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, where Alexei Navalny, a known critic of Putin, has been staying since he was transferred on Saturday from Omsk in Russia’s Siberia region, said: “The clinical findings indicate intoxication by a substance from the cholinesterase inhibitor group.”
This comes after Alexei Navalny the anti-corruption campaigner became ill during a flight in which the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk, Kira Yarmysh said, adding that they suspected a substance had been mixed into his drink.
They continued by saying:
“The clinical findings indicate intoxication by a substance from the cholinesterase inhibitor group.”
“The specific substance has not been identified so far and a further wide-ranging analysis has been initiated. The effect of the toxin, i.e. the cholinesterase inhibition in the organism, has been proven several times and in independent laboratories.”
The doctors said that Mr Navalny currently remains in a medically induced coma and is categorised as being in a serious condition “but there is currently no acute danger to his life”.
The 44-year-old opposition leader collapsed into a coma last Thursday on a domestic Russian flight after drinking tea that his supporters have suspected was poisoned.
Doctors in Germany said that he is currently being treated with atropine but they cannot yet determine whether or not he will have life-long issues as a result, “especially in the area of the nervous system”.
Atropine is used to treat some types of poisonings from nerve agents and pesticides, as well as some forms of slow heart rate issues and to help decrease saliva production when in surgery.
The doctors caring to Mr Navalny in Siberia had said that he was too unstable to be moved, despite the team of specialists from Germany in a medical plane being sent to help with his recovery.
The politician’s supporters believe that the Russian doctors had been stalling to allow for any poison in his system to be hidden from being detected.
The Kremlin denies the accusation that its resistance to the transfer of Mr Navalny was political, saying that the decision was purely a result of medical expertise.
Doctors in Omsk have also said that Mr Navalny was in fact not poisoned, suggesting that a drop in blood sugar may have been what caused the opposition to lose consciousness.
This news follows UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Members of Parliaments that there was “no smoking gun” in the now-released Russia report, as opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed that the Prime Minister “sat on” the “extremely serious” report.
The German government’s co-ordinator for Eastern European affairs, Dirk Wiese, has said that German police authorities have been stationed outside the hospital in Berlin since the Russian politician’s arrival, as a “precaution”.
“The circumstances of what led to Alexei Navalny’s critical condition haven’t yet been clarified,” he said.
“We expect full transparent and also cooperative clarification, especially from the Russian authorities.”
“And before it is known how this happened, appropriate security precautions are necessary.”