Russian opposition leader and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, was moved to a penal colony medical facility amidst a hunger strike that has lasted for 20 days.
According to reporting by NPR, Russian prison officials said on Monday that Navalny has been transferred to a medical ward at a prison apart from the one where he was being detained. He will go through “vitamin therapy” while there, they said.
“A doctors’ commission has decided to move A. Navalny to the regional hospital for convicts,” prison authorities announced in a statement, according to The Moscow Times. “Navalny’s health condition is assessed as satisfactory and he is examined daily by a general practitioner,” it added. “The patient has been prescribed vitamin therapy with his consent.”
Navalny has been serving prison time after he returned to Moscow from Germany where he had been recovering from a poisoning from a nerve agent that he blames on the Kremlin. The Kremlin has denied any responsibility for his poisoning, but United States intelligence officials have “concluded with high confidence that Navalny was poisoned last year with a banned nerve agent called Novichok by the Russian security services,” according to Politico.
Earlier this month, The Daily Wire reported that Navalny was being moved to the infirmary of a penal colony in Russia. A week prior, he announced that he would be undertaking a hunger strike in protest of being denied care from his personal doctor for pain that he was experiencing.
On Sunday, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN that the Biden administration was looking at options to punish Russia if Navalny dies while in prison.”We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community,” Sullivan said. “In terms of the specific measures that we would take, we are looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose and I’m not going to telegraph that publicly at this point … But we have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies.”
According to The Associated Press, one of Navalny’s doctors said Saturday that he “could die at any moment” in a Facebook post after he looked at test results he received from Navalny’s family. The results reportedly demonstrated “sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys,” AP reported.
A top member of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, FBK, Maria Pevchikh, tweeted that people should stop saying that Navalny “has been transferred to a hospital.”
“It’s not a hospital, it’s just a different penal colony that has the same torturous conditions, same everything, apart from the fact that there are few formally qualified doctors on-site. This changes nothing,” she wrote.
Please stop writing that Navalny has been transferred to a hospital. It's not a hospital, it's just a different penal colony that has the same torturous conditions, same everything, apart from the fact that there are few formally qualified doctors on-site. This changes nothing.
— Maria Pevchikh (@pevchikh) April 19, 2021
President Joe Biden was asked about Navalny’s condition on Saturday. He replied, “It’s totally totally unfair and totally inappropriate. On the basis of having the poison and then on a hunger strike.”
As The Daily Wire reported last week, Biden signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Russia accusing Moscow of trying to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election and hacking into federal agencies. In response, the Russian government announced the expulsion of 10 American diplomats and blocked several U.S. officials from coming into Russia. The Daily Wire reported, “A tweet posted by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday, however, indicated the list of Americans denied entry to the country was “in response” to the sanctions announced on March 2.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, Russian authorities have accused Biden of sending messages that are inconsistent as U.S. sanctions and expulsions were put out two days after he spoke to Putin on the phone and had called for a summit to “normalize” relations.