Kremlin critic Navalny could 'die any minute': doctors

Navalny barely survived a poisoning with the Novichok nerve agent in August which he has blamed on the Kremlin

Mr Navalny, 44, a prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, started refusing food on March 31 in protest at what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to treat him properly for acute back and leg pain.

Doctors close to the imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who is now on hunger strike, demanded Saturday that they be allowed to see him immediately, saying that he could have a heart attack 'at any moment'.

MOSCOW (AP) - A doctor for imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in the third week of a hunger strike, says his health is deteriorating rapidly and the 44-year-old Kremlin critic could be on the verge of death.

The European Union must pressure Moscow to allow Alexei Navalny to have access to his doctor, allies of the hunger-striking Kremlin critic wrote in a letter sent this week to EU foreign ministers.

This may have exacerbated his condition, doctors said, as they asked prison officials to grant them immediate access.

The announcement was released after Navalny's doctors said on Saturday that the opposition politician's health had rapidly deteriorated and he could go into cardiac arrest "any minute".

'Fatal arrhythmia can develop any minute'.

Navalny, who the West says has been wrongly jailed and should be freed, returned to Russian Federation in January after recovering from what German doctors say was a nerve agent poisoning.


Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on April 15, 2021.

The letter raised similar health concerns to those voiced on Tuesday by Navalny's wife, who said after visiting him in prison that he was having difficulty speaking and had lost more weight.

"This means both impaired renal function and that serious heart rhythm problems can happen any minute", said a statement on Vasilyeva's Twitter account.

They said he had to be examined immediately "taking into account the blood tests and his recent poisoning".

"Our patient could die at any moment", he said in a Facebook post. "In his condition, it is a matter of days".

She said she felt like she was "on that plane again, only this time it's landing in slow motion", pointing out that access to Mr Navalny was restricted and few Russians were aware of what was actually going on with him in prison.

More than 70 personalities, including Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave and Benedict Cumberbatch, demanded in an article published Friday evening in the French newspaper "Le Monde" that necessary medical care be secured for Navalny.

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