“Russian opposition leader Navalny will survive poison,” doctors deny under govt control

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is going to survive the poison attack. Jaka Bizilj of the German organization Cinema for Peace said this to the German newspaper Bild. Yesterday, Bizilj reported that the situation in Navalny was “very worrying”. Meanwhile, doctors who nursed Navalny in Siberia deny that they were under the control of the authorities.

According to the chairman of Cinema for Peace, Navalny will survive the poison attack, but will not be able to resume his work as a politician for months. Bizilj, with his organization, collected the Kremlin critic from a Russian hospital in Omsk.

The 44-year-old opposition leader had to go to Germany for further medical treatment after falling into a coma last week. Since yesterday he has been in the Charité in Berlin, one of the largest university clinics in Europe.

Jaka Bizilj of the German Cinema for Peace organization speaks to the press.
©EPA – Jaka Bizilj of the German Cinema for Peace organization speaks to the press.

The hospital has not yet made any announcements about the condition of Navalny. The doctors in the Siberian city of Omsk, who were the first to treat Navalny, said this morning that it was they who saved Navalny’s life. The German team at Navalny had announced that they were holding a briefing via YouTube last night that would “discuss everything we know so far about Alexei’s poisoning.” The presentation was canceled because the team was not ready for it yet, they wrote press secretary Kira Yarmysh and campaign head Leonid Volkov on Twitter.


Navalny passed out on a plane on Thursday. According to his spokesman, the tea he drank before the flight had been poisoned. The opposition leader then boarded a flight to Moscow. That aircraft made an emergency landing when its condition deteriorated. According to Russian doctors, Navalny has a metabolic disorder.

Earlier this week, there was a long discussion about whether Navalny could be transported. Navalny’s spokeswoman said earlier that Russian doctors had authorized the move but then changed their minds. She thinks the Kremlin is behind it, but the Russian authorities deny it. Navalny’s spokeswoman argues that the doctors in Omsk seem to have no idea what Navalny is suffering from, and she insists he has been poisoned.

According to sources, Navalny would have been afraid of poisoning for some time. He never slept in the hotel room that was booked under his name.

According to Lyubov Sobol, a confidant of Navalny, the chief doctor’s office at the Siberian hospital was home to people from the security forces. The doctors also allegedly took time in various ways until the poison was no longer detectable in Navalny’s body. Only then could he be flown to Germany, Sobol told the German weekly Der Spiegel.

“We took care of the patient, and we saved him. There was no outside influence on the patient’s treatment,” says Omsk hospital chief physician Aleksander Moerachowski. Moerachowski also said the men in his office did not exert any pressure. “I can’t say who they were. I cannot say that they have done anything,” said the chief doctor.

Chief doctor of the hospital in Omsk Aleksander Moerachowski
Chief doctor of the hospital in Omsk Aleksander Moerachowski

Various stories circulate in the Russian state media about why Navalny has been in a coma for days. It concerns, among other things, alcohol consumption, a diet, or too little sugar. According to Sobol, this is a “typical disinformation” from the Kremlin. “This was an assassination attempt on Navalny, which is only useful to the Kremlin only.” Navalny is also said to have had no health problems and was very fit. “He was never really ill, only once had a cold.”

State protection

Navalny is under German state protection during his treatment at the Berlin hospital, German police said yesterday. “The state has taken over the police protection from Alexei Navalny,” said a government spokesman.

The German government official in charge of relations with Russia, Dirk Wiese, demanded a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding Navalny’s disease. “There is an accusation of poisoning. The rapid deterioration in Navalny’s health status should be clarified plausibly and transparently with the cooperation of the Russian authorities,” he said.

Bild, AD
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