Navalny’s Team Calls For Protests As His Health Deteriorates

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Navalny’s Team Calls For Protests As His Health Deteriorates” – below is their description.

    “Extreme situation demands extreme decisions.”

    Alexey Navalny’s team on Sunday called for massive protests in the heart of Moscow and St. Petersburg as Navalny’s health has reportedly severely deteriorated while on a hunger strike.

    Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s condition has worsened sharply after a 2 1/2 week-long hunger strike, prompting supporters to say he could die in days and announce a nationwide protest.

    “Alexey is dying now. Given his condition, it’s a matter of days,” Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Facebook. Navalny’s supporters called for demonstrations across Russia on April 21 in a blog post.

    Anastasia Vasilieva, who heads the Alliance of Doctors union that is backed by Navalny and who is also his doctor, posted a copy of his blood-test results showing what she said were “critical” levels of potassium. “This signifies kidney failure, which can lead at any time to a severe disruption to his heartbeat” including the possibility of heart failure, she said on Twitter.

    U.S. President Joe Biden was asked about Navalny’s condition on Saturday. “It’s totally, totally unfair,” Biden told reporters in brief remarks. Navalny’s fate is in Putin’s hands, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday.

    Navalny, 44, has been held since March 11 at the notorious IK-2 prison camp about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Moscow. President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critic was imprisoned for breaking parole rules while he was recovering in Germany from a near-fatal chemical poisoning in Siberia that he and Western governments blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities deny involvement.

    After complaining of acute back and leg pain, Navalny began a hunger strike on March 31 to demand specialist care from doctors outside the prison system. In a post on his Instagram account Friday, Navalny’s allies reported that a prison official had warned him that a blood test indicated a “serious deterioration” in his health and that he would be force-fed if he didn’t end the protest.

    The Federal Penitentiary Service didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Officials have said previously that Navalny has received all necessary medical attention.

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