Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny was unconscious and on a ventilator in a Siberian hospital Thursday after falling ill from suspected poisoning, his spokesperson said.
CNN reports that the 44-year-old Navalny started feeling unwell while on a return flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh, said on Twitter. The plane later made an urgent landing in Omsk, she added.
He only drank black tea in an airport cafe before takeoff, Yarmysh told Russian radio station Echo of Moscow.
“We assume that Alexey was poisoned with something mixed into the tea. It was the only thing that he drank in the morning. Doctors say the toxin was absorbed faster through the hot liquid,” Yarmysh tweeted.
Navalny remains unconscious and is now connected to a ventilator, Yarmysh said.
Daily Times gathered that Navalny was admitted to the acute poisoning unit of Omsk emergency hospital No. 1 and is in a “serious condition,” hospital head physician Alexander Murakhovsky said,
The hospital’s deputy head physician, Anatoly Kalinichenko, speaking to local journalists at a makeshift news conference, later confirmed that Navalny was still in the hospital in a serious condition. He was on a ventilator but was stable, the physician said.
Asked by a journalist if Navalny had been poisoned, Kalinichenko said: “Naturally, poisoning is considered as one of the possible reasons for the deterioration of his state. But apart from this, this could be a number of conditions that started acutely and led to the same clinical reactions. We are working on all of them: excluding, confirming.”
Kalinichenko said he believed doctors would have a diagnosis later Thursday. In the meantime, Navalny’s symptoms are being treated, he said.
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