Published: Tue, April 20, 2021
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Doctors Denied Access To Kremlin Critic's Prison Hospital

Doctors Denied Access To Kremlin Critic's Prison Hospital

The announcement came two days after Navalny's physician said his health was deteriorating rapidly and the 44-year-old opponent of Vladimir Putin could be on the verge of death.

The U.S. on Sunday threatened Russian Federation with "consequences" if President Vladimir Putin's major domestic opponent - who launched a hunger strike three weeks ago - dies in jail, with Mr. Navalny's private doctors warning at the weekend he could pass away at "any minute". He has been on a hunger strike. Russian Federation says he has been treated well and is exaggerating illness to gain attention.

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis pushed further, saying the bloc should prepare "a humanitarian mission" to fly him out of Russian Federation for treatment.

Mr Navalny's family and team raised the alarm about his health last month when the Kremlin's most outspoken critic went on hunger strike to protest the prison administration's refusal to let him see a civilian doctor following pains in his back and legs.

The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Russian Federation over the poisoning, and on Monday threatened Moscow with further penalties in the event of Navalny's death.

Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner and Putin's most-prominent critic, was first arrested in January upon his return to Russian Federation following a suspected Novichok poisoning, that is thought to have been carried out by an FSB hit squad.

Fears over Mr. Navalny's fate have added more fuel to soaring tensions between Moscow and the West over a build-up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine and a spiralling diplomatic row with European Union member state the Czech Republic. "The state of health of those convicted and jailed on Russian territory can not and should not be a theme of their interest", spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Navalny's team has called on supporters to take to the streets on Wednesday - when Putin is due to deliver his annual state of the nation address - to protest how he is being treated.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a prison hospital.

Navalny's top strategist, Leonid Volkov, said no one should assume it was happening until the opposition leader's lawyers confirm it. The lawyers were en route to the prison where the hospital was located, Volkov said.

Ivan Zhdanov, the head of Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption, tweeted Monday that the move announced by the prison service would take the politician merely to another "tormenting colony, just with a big in-patient facility, where the gravely ill are being transferred".

In a message from prison on Friday, Navalny said prison officials threatened to force-feed him "imminently", using a "straitjacket and other pleasures".

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