Navalny began to be treated in Germany: what is known at the moment - ForumDaily
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Navalny began to be treated in Germany: what is known at the moment

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, flown to Berlin on the morning of August 22, was taken to the local Charité clinic. Navalny is still in a coma. The politician’s associates suspect that the Russian authorities wanted to hide traces of poisoning, so for a long time they prohibited the politician’s transportation. At the same time, doctors from Omsk ruled out that Navalny was poisoned, writes with the BBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

How Alexey Navalny was transported

The Bombardier Challenger 604 increased comfort aircraft, which was adapted to transport patients in a coma, left Omsk airport on August 22 at five o'clock in the morning Moscow time. The reanimobile with Navalny went to the airfield, accompanied by police. Using a special ladder, the stretcher with the politician was placed in the cabin of the airliner. Alexey's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, also went on board.

At around 9 a.m. Berlin time (10 a.m. Moscow time), a medical plane with Navalny on board landed at Tegel Airport. After an hour and a half trip, the politician was taken to the Charité clinic. Several years ago, Pussy Riot member and Mediazona publisher Pyotr Verzilov was treated in this hospital after an alleged poisoning.

Representatives of Charite confirmed that they accepted Alexei Anatolyevich Navalny for treatment. Immediately, doctors began extensive medical diagnostics. At the end of the examination and consultation with the family, the treating doctors will inform the public about the diagnosis and specific stages of treatment.

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The head of the Cinema for Peace Foundation, Yaka Bizil, who organized Navalny’s transportation, told the German publication Bild that the patient’s condition was stable both during the flight and upon landing.

What Russian doctors say

The decision that Navalny could be released for treatment in Germany was made by the Omsk doctors on Friday evening, August 21, although in the morning they had stated that this was impossible. According to them, the version of Navalny's associates about the poisoning has not been confirmed.

The main diagnosis, to which doctors in Omsk are inclined, is a metabolic disorder due to a sharp drop in blood sugar during an airplane flight. The head physician of the emergency hospital №1 Alexander Murakhovsky spoke about this. Local doctors held a consultation with the participation of doctors specially flown from Moscow.

Navalny felt bad on the plane, on which he returned on Thursday, August 21, from Tomsk to Moscow. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the Omsk airport. Navalny's press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, suggested that this was the poisoning that happened after Navalny drank black tea in a coffee shop in Tomsk airport before the flight. Since then, he has been in a coma and is connected to a ventilator.

What the tests showed

According to Omsk doctors, hydroxybutyrates and barbiturates were not found in Alexei Navalny’s body, and the chemicals found on the surface of clothing, skin and nails could be traces of industrial chemicals - for example, a plastic cup from which Navalny drank tea, suggested Alexander Murakhovsky.

On the morning of Friday, August 21, he assessed Alexey’s condition as unstable and serious. “At the moment, he cannot be transported anywhere,” said the head physician of Omsk Hospital No. 1.

“Metabolism disorders can occur in a huge number of diseases. This is a condition, not a diagnosis. Well, a drop in sugar is not a diagnosis,” Navalny’s doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva criticized the statement of her colleagues. By the way, yesterday my sugar was normal,” she emphasized.

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What are Navalny's associates talking about

Yarmysh said on Twitter that the ban on transportation means a direct threat to Alexei's life.

“This is an attempt on his life,” she said indignantly.

And the wife of the oppositionist, Yulia Navalnaya, who arrived in Omsk the day before, said that she did not trust local doctors.

Navalnaya suggested that Omsk doctors were stalling for time so that the remnants of the poison with which he was poisoned could leave her husband’s body, so that nothing could be proven. At the same time, the director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Ivan Zhdanov, said that in his presence, one of the transport police officers allegedly told doctors about the discovery of a certain “deadly substance.”

“We were in the chief doctor’s office, at that moment a representative of the transport police entered the office and showed from his phone: this substance was found,” said Zhdanov. According to him, the employee did not consider it necessary to clarify what kind of substance it was, but explained that it “poses a threat not only to Alexei’s life, but also to those around him, everyone around him should be in protective suits.”

Navalny's friends have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with a request to take urgent interim measures and prohibit the authorities from hindering Navalny's transportation. At the same time, Aleksei's wife addressed the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, with the same demand. The ECHR granted the request, but by that time Navalny was already being taken in an ambulance car to the airport. Putin did not answer Navalny.

Still released

In the afternoon, the German doctors who arrived in Omsk went to the hospital. Shortly after their visit, the position on Navalny's transportation changed.

Yarmysh said on Twitter that Berlin's resuscitators, having examined Navalny, concluded that he was transportable, and the conditions on the plane allowed him to safely transport him to Berlin.

The German Cinema for Peace Foundation, which organized Navalny's transportation, also said that Alexei's condition allows him to be transported.

“We received a response from the German medical team that they are able and willing to take Navalny to Berlin and that this is also the wish of his family,” the foundation said.

After that, Anatoly Kalinichenko, deputy chief physician of Omsk Hospital No. 1, said that Omsk doctors no longer oppose Navalny's transportation.

“The patient’s condition is stable, and, having received a request from relatives to allow transportation somewhere, at this moment we decided that we do not object to his transfer to another hospital, which the relatives will indicate to us,” Kalinichenko said.

Why the position of doctors has changed

“Our German colleagues reviewed the entire set of data, they agreed that there is no urgent need to transport the patient, especially since air travel may pose a risk of deterioration in Navalny’s vital signs. However, against the backdrop of some improvement in his condition, this risk decreases somewhat,” Murakhovsky explained the sharp change in the position of doctors.

“We do not recommend air travel, however, the wife insists on transferring her husband to a German clinic. Now we believe that such air transportation is possible under the responsibility of relatives and German resuscitators,” said the head physician.

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Also, the deputy chief physician unequivocally ruled out the version of a possible poisoning.

“Our diagnosis with complications explains Navalny’s condition. There is information about a certain drug that has been discovered. We don't have such papers. They did not find it in the urine or blood, the clinic does not correspond to poisoning with this substance... Medical doctors from Germany held a consultation with us. They were completely satisfied with the entire treatment. We agreed with our diagnosis,” Kalinichenko said.

Murakhovsky also noted that there is a positive trend in Navalny's condition. After that, Yulia Navalnaya signed a document with a request to transport her husband. In a statement, she indicated that she was warned of the likelihood of deterioration in his health during the flight.

“The fight for Alexey’s life and health is just beginning,” Yarmysh said on Twitter.

“It is clear that it was not the doctors who decided this”

The Cinema for Peace Foundation, which sponsors Navalny's treatment, was founded by German film producer and human rights activist Jak Bizil. In 2018, he made possible the treatment of Verzilov, who had symptoms of poisoning. Pussy Riot member and ex-wife of Verzilov, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, said that Navalny's condition resembles the alleged poisoning of Verzilov.

According to her, several years ago, German doctors already explained to her that the poisonous substance disappears in three days, and it is impossible to find it in the blood.

“Therefore, Russian doctors released him only when they were sure that there were no traces left,” Nadezhda published an assumption.

“I am sure that he [Navalny] was released only due to pressure within the country and serious pressure from abroad. Our authorities do the right thing only when people call them to account,” Tolokonnikova also emphasized.

“And it is clear that it was not the doctors who decided this. Unfortunately, in Russia the system doesn’t work like that; in this case, no one will allow them to make an independent decision,” she added.

On Friday, pickets in support of Navalny were held in Moscow and other cities of the Russian Federation. Their participants were arrested, but were soon released from police stations, according to OVD-Info. Western politicians, including US President Donald Trump, have said they are monitoring the situation with Navalny.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov wished the oppositionist a speedy recovery on Friday, as usual, without giving his name.

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