Navalny arrives in Berlin under German federal police protection

Currently in a coma after a suspected poisoning, prominent Putin critic and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny arrived in Berlin to be treated in the city’s Charité Hospital over the weekend, during which he will be placed under German federal police protection.

The Kremlin critic was taken to hospital in Omsk, Siberia on Thursday morning (20 August), after he lost consciousness on a flight bound for Moscow. The hospital’s head doctor attributed his collapse to a metabolic disease caused by low blood sugar.

Navalny’s personal physician, however, refuted this explanation, writing on Twitter that “once again they are selling us for idiots.”

The head of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation stated that a “deadly substance” was found on the 44 year-old opposition leader, but did not give further details.

The decision to allow Navalny to leave the country came after pressure from Navalny’s family and supporters, who claimed that his life was in danger in Russia. Initially, Russian doctors claimed that he was not fit to travel, a statement that was contradicted by the doctors in Berlin. After reversing their decision, Navalny was flown to Germany early on Saturday morning (22 August).

Navalny supporters claim that this delay was a tactic used to obstruct a proper investigation.

“They have an order: Don’t let him go so that it will be impossible for an independent laboratory to confirm poison,” wrote Leonid Volkov, a Navalny ally. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)

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