Russian opponent Alexei Navalny was placed in intensive care in serious condition - Kommersant / SIPA

Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny was placed in intensive care on Thursday in serious condition in a hospital in Siberia, after feeling ill on a plane, his entourage crying out of poisoning.

According to his spokesperson, Kira Iarmych, the plane in which the main opponent of the Kremlin was traveling was traveling from Tomsk to Moscow, when he had to make an emergency landing due to the sudden deterioration of his state of health.

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 больницу

- Кира Ярмыш (@Kira_Yarmysh) August 20, 2020

"I'm sure it was intentional poisoning," Kira Iarmych told Moscow's Echo radio. "Alexeï was poisoned, intoxicated" and "is now in intensive care", she had previously indicated on Twitter.

"We think that Alexeï was poisoned with something mixed with his tea"

The 44-year-old opponent is in intensive care at the toxicology department of the Omsk No.1 Emergency Hospital, the state-run TASS news agency reported. "He is in serious condition," the head doctor of the hospital, Alexander Murakhovsky, told TASS.

“Alexeï is still unconscious, he is connected to an artificial respirator. The hospital called the police at our request, ”Kira Iarmych added on Twitter.

“We think Alexei was poisoned with something mixed with his tea. He did not drink anything else this morning, "she said on the social network, adding:" The doctors said that the poison had been absorbed quickly through the hot drink.

An Instagram post shows Navalny at the airport, drinking the tea that allegedly poisoned him. In this same story, we then hear him cry out in pain on the plane.

- Mathieu Géniole (@mathieuge) August 20, 2020

He had been the victim of physical attacks in the past

Main opponent of the Kremlin, whose publications denouncing the corruption of Russian elites are widely shared on social networks, Alexeï Navalny has already been the victim of physical attacks in the past. In 2017, he was sprayed with antiseptic product in his eyes when he left his office in Moscow.

In July 2019, while he was serving a short prison sentence, he also claimed to have been “poisoned” by an “unknown chemical substance” and transferred to a hospital. The authorities had for their part spoken of an "allergic reaction" and assured that they had found "no toxic substance".

“He had been poisoned in the detention center. I'm sure the same has happened now. These are different symptoms, obviously a different product, ”Kira Iarmych said Thursday.

"Immediately after takeoff, he lost consciousness"

She said she saw the lawyer in Tomsk on Thursday morning and he looked "completely fine". “He only drank black tea at the airport. Immediately after take-off, he lost consciousness, ”she added.

Russian TV channel Life posted an amateur video shot on the plane, in which rescuers walk to the rear of the plane, where a man appeared to be moaning in pain. The Telegram channel 112 for its part published a video where he was transferred on a stretcher from the plane to an ambulance.

The target of searches and fines

Another Russian opponent, Piotr Verzilov, was hospitalized in September 2018 after falling ill after leaving a hearing in a Moscow court. He was then transferred to Berlin in a "serious" condition where he remained in hospital for several days.

Alexeï Navalny and his organization, the Anti-Corruption Fund, whose assets were frozen last year, are regularly the target of searches and fines while his supporters are regularly arrested.


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