Top Putin Critic Alexey Navlny Hospitalized After Drinking Tea Suspected of Containing Poison

Top Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was hospitalized on Thursday after a suspected poisoning, CNN reports.

Navalny, 44, became ill during a flight from Moscow to Siberia and his plane made an emergency landing.

A video from the plane appears to show Navalny loudly groaning off-screen and being taken to an ambulance.

Navalny was admitted to the poisoning unit of a local hospital and is in “serious condition,” the hospital’s top physician told reporters.

The physician added that Navalny is unconscious and on a ventilator but stable.

Suspected poisoning:

"We assume that Alexey was poisoned with something mixed into the tea. It was the only thing that he drank in the morning. Doctors say the toxin was absorbed faster through the hot liquid," spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter.

"They try to get an explanation from the doctor. The doctor saw me in the distance in the corridor, said that 'some things are confidential' and took the police to another room," Yarmysh said. "The evasive reaction of doctors only confirms that this is poisoning.”

Yarmysh later said that Navalny’s wife was not allowed to see him in the hospital because "a passport is not a guarantee that they are married, but for confirmation they require a marriage certificate."

Kremlin wishes “speedy recovery”:

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin is aware of Navalny’s hospitalization.

"We know that he is in a serious condition. Doctors are now doing what is necessary. In Omsk, the best doctors are involved in this case,” he said. "They hold consultations with specialists from Moscow. Of course, like for any citizen of our country, we wish him a speedy recovery."

"So far, as far as we know, there are no analysis results, so [these] are only assumptions about whether it was poisoning or not. This must be confirmed by laboratory tests," he added.

Foreign officials expressed concerns over the suspected poisoning.

"If confirmed, those responsible must face consequences. Closely following the situation, wishing him strength and speedy recovery," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, calling reports “very worrying.”

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he is "deeply concerned" by reports that Navalny "has been poisoned on a flight to Moscow and is now in a coma in intensive care."


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