Doctors Raise Alarm Over Jailed Russian Opposition Leader’s Health, Demand Immediate Treatment

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New Delhi: Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is at the risk of suffering cardiac arrest at “any minute” while his health rapidly deteriorates, his doctors warned asking for immediate access to him.

Russia’s most famous prisoner Navalny, aged 44, was imprisoned in February over old embezzlement charges and is serving two-and-a-half years in a penal colony in the town of Pokrov around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow.

Known as President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent and critic Alexei Navalny went on a hunger strike on March 31 to demand proper medical treatment for back pain and numbness in his legs and hands.

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US President Joe Biden has also supported the growing international concerns over the treatment denied to the activist, he termed the situation as “totally unfair”. “It’s totally, totally unfair, totally inappropriate,” he said responding to a question.

Now, as per news agency AFP, Navalny’s personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva and three more doctors including cardiologist Yaroslav Ashikhmin have urged prison officials to grant them immediate access to be able to look at the jailed opposition leaders condition.

Ashikhmin took to Facebook on Saturday and wrote “Our patient can die any minute,” laying emphasis on his high potassium levels while stating that Navalny should be moved to intensive care.

“Fatal arrhythmia can develop any minute,” he adds.

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Alexei Navalny had back in August last year survived a poisoning with the Novichok nerve agent and he accused the Kremlin leadership of the act. Now his doctors have stated that his hunger strike could have led to the deterioration in his condition.

Having blood potassium levels higher than 6.0 mmol (millimole) per litre usually requires immediate treatment. Navalny’s were at 7.1, the doctors said as quoted by AFP.

“This means both impaired renal function and that serious heart rhythm problems can happen any minute,” Vasilyeva’s statement on Twitter read.

The doctors said that he needs to be contacted immediately “taking into account the blood tests and his recent poisoning”.

Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh, who was with him when he collapsed on a plane after the poisoning in August, also raided an alarm over the situation as she also wrote on Facebook that “Alexei is dying. With his condition it’s a matter of days”.

She added that she felt like she was “on that plane again, only this time it’s landing in slow motion”, stressing on restricted access to Navalny and that few Russians were aware of what he was going through in prison.

The international attention towards the treatment of Russian opposition leader has been growing gradually as over 70 prominent international writers, artists and academics, including Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave and Benedict Cumberbatch, joined the movement to urge Putin over the matter.

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