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Navalny's Team: Russia Is Killing Him, 'in Front of Us All'

Authorities say Russian dissident is now in prison hospital; allies aren't hopeful for 'good news'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2021 7:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – How things look for Alexei Navalny depends on who's doing the informing. Over the weekend, a group of doctors said blood tests showed the imprisoned Russian dissident, on a hunger strike since March 31, was likely to die within days unless he received medical attention. On Monday, a Navalny ally told Reuters the opposition leader's attorneys weren't allowed access to him over the weekend and that "there is no hope we will receive good news." "Twenty days on hunger strike—that is an awful lot," Lyubov Sobol told the news agency, adding she believes Navalny's status is "very close to critical." Navalny, who went on a hunger strike after demanding to see his own doctors for leg and back pain, is said to be suffering low potassium levels that are putting him at risk of kidney failure and cardiac arrest, per a group of doctors tied to him. "They are killing Alexei Navalny. In a terrible way. In front of us all," Navalny's team said in a Sunday statement, per the Washington Post.

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Not to worry, Russian authorities say, claiming that Navalny has been moved to a prison hospital and is in "satisfactory" condition, reports the BBC. The prison service in charge of his penal colony, about an hour outside of Moscow, says Navalny is receiving daily checkups and has given the OK to have vitamins administered to him. What ultimately happens to him is being watched closely internationally, with world leaders expressing concern and issuing warnings to Russia over Navalny's state. Among them: the United States, which is preparing for the possibility of Navalny dying and what the American response would be. "We have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies," national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday, adding that the Biden administration is "looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose" if such a thing were to happen. On Saturday, President Biden called Navalny's status "totally unfair and totally inappropriate." (Read more Alexei Navalny stories.)

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