Alexei Navalny Transferred to Hospital as Health Deteriorates

Alexei Navalny Transferred to Hospital as Health Deteriorates

Russian prison officials transferred opposition leader and nationalist politician Alexei Navalny to a hospital, three weeks after he began a hunger strike to protest a lack of medical care while in prison.

Mr Navalny's doctor Yaroslav Ashikhmin said on Saturday that test results he received from Mr Navalny's family show him with sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys.

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".

Navalny went on hunger strike on March 31 to protest against what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to provide him with treatment for leg and back pain.

"He must be treated humanely", she said.

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.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny could die 'any minute', doctors warn
Vasilyeva was reportedly detained earlier this month alongside other protesters outside Navalny's prison. Russia's state penitentiary service has said that Navalny is receiving all the medical help he needs.

Russia's prison authorities, which have barred Mr. Navalny's own medical team from visiting him, said its doctors had made a decision to move him to a medical facility on the premises of another penal colony outside Moscow. Tensions between Moscow and the West are at a new high after Russian Federation moved more than 150,000 troops to the Ukrainian border and following a diplomatic spat between Russian Federation and the Czech Republic.

The opposition politician was arrested on his return to Russian Federation in January from Germany, where he had spent months recovering from a poisoning attack with the Novichok nerve agent. "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. The penitentiary service has said Navalny was getting all the medical help he needs.

Navalny is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent opponent and the street protests are to be held just hours after the Kremlin chief is set to deliver his long-awaited state of nation address on Wednesday.

European leaders, including European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, are assessing the bloc's strategy toward Russian Federation amid the weakening health of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Several Navalny allies dismissed the hospital transfer announced by the prison service as insufficient. Lawyers say he suffers from two herniated discs that have caused extreme back pain and numbness in his right leg and hands.

Navalny has previously posted online about his declining health since he started the strike, saying that prison wardens had threatened to force-feed him.

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