Navalny Treated in German Hospital

Still in a coma, Russian opposition leader is visited by his wife
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2020 8:21 AM CDT
Navalny Treated in German Hospital
Jaka Bizilj, founder of Cinema for Peace and organizer of the patient transport of the Russian oppositional Navalny talks to media people Saturday at the Charite hospital in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Alexei Navalny, who fell ill after drinking tea his supporters believe was poisoned, is now being treated in a hospital in Berlin. The Russian opposition leader was taken by air ambulance from Siberia to Germany on Saturday, Reuters reports. Doctors in Omsk approved the move Friday after first blocking it, saying Navalny—who's in an induced coma—was too ill for the trip. German doctors then went to Omsk to examine Navalny, declaring him able to be transferred, and his wife appealed to the Kremlin for approval. His condition didn't appear to change during the trip, said a supporter on the flight, which was provided by the Cinema for Peace Foundation. Navalny, 44, was taken to Berlin's Charité hospital, where his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, and an aide, saw him Sunday. They left without saying anything to reporters, per the AP.

During Navalny's trip to Siberia, just before he collapsed on a flight to Moscow, an aide had said the dissident was under "absolutely obvious" police surveillance. Police sources detailed the surveillance in Tomsk to a Russian newspaper, per the Guardian, possibly to clear authorities there. "The security services are inclined to believe that if the events connected to a poisoning did take place, then they probably occurred at the airport or in the plane," the paper said. The sources provided information about Navalny being followed as he went about the city for meetings—and even for a swim. The apartment where he was staying was discovered when someone in his party had sushi delivered. The Berlin hospital said it would release information about Navalny's condition after it completes tests and informs his family. (More Alexei Navalny stories.)

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