Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny “could die at any time”: Doctor | News from Vladimir Putin

A doctor said the jailed Russian opposition leader was at risk of cardiac arrest with damaged kidneys after weeks of hunger strike.

A doctor for jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is in the third week of a hunger strike, said his health was deteriorating rapidly and the 44-year-old Kremlin critic could be on the verge of death.

Doctor Yaroslav Ashikhmin said on Saturday that test results he received from Navalny’s family showed him very high potassium levels, which can cause cardiac arrest, and high creatinine levels indicating kidney failure.

“Our patient could die at any time,” he said in a Facebook post.

Navalny-backed Alliance of Doctors union leader Anastasia Vasilyeva said on Twitter that “action must be taken immediately.”

Navalny is the most visible and categorical opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His personal doctors were not allowed to see him in prison. He went on a hunger strike to protest against the refusal to let them visit when he began to experience severe back pain and loss of sensation in his legs.

Navalny said on Friday that prison officials threatened to put him in a straitjacket to force-feed him unless he gave up his hunger strike.

The Russian State Prison Service said Navalny was receiving all the medical help he needed.

Navalny was arrested on January 17 while he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve poisoning he attributed to the Kremlin.

Russian officials have denied any involvement and even questioned whether Navalny had been poisoned, which was confirmed by several European laboratories.

He was ordered to serve two and a half years in prison on the grounds that his long convalescence in Germany violated a suspended sentence imposed on him for fraud in a case which Navalny said was politically motivated.

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