Russian Opposition Leader in Intensive Care After ‘Poisoning’

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been hospitalized with suspected poisoning and is in intensive care, his spokeswoman said Thursday.

Navalny, 44, fell ill on a plane returning to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk, Kira Yarmysh, the spokeswoman, said on Twitter. The aircraft made an emergency landing in Omsk where he was taken to the hospital for treatment of “toxic poisoning” and has been put on a ventilator, she said.

The anti-Kremlin activist is unconscious, Yarmysh said. Aides believe something was put in his tea during the visit to meet activists as “it was the only thing he drank from the morning,” she said.

The opposition leader is in a “grave condition,” the state-run Tass news service reported, citing the hospital chief Alexander Murakhovsky.

Сегодня утром Навальный возвращался в Москву из Томска. В полёте ему стало плохо. Самолет экстренно сел в Омске. У Алексея токсическое отравление. Сейчас мы на скорой едем в больницу5:43 AM · Aug 20, 2020

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Navalny is Russia’s most prominent opponent of President Vladimir Putin. He shot to prominence during massive 2011-2012 protests against Putin’s return to the Kremlin for a third term as president following four years as prime minister.

He has a huge following on social media in Russia, with 2.2 million followers on Twitter alone, using it to bypass a state media ban to highlight corruption among the country’s elite.

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