Chattanooga Times Free Press

Russia’s Navalny moved to infirmary

- BY ANDREW E. KRAMER NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

POKROV, Russia — The coarse medical treatment that Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, is receiving in prison poses a lethal risk to his health, his personal doctor told journalist­s on Tuesday. The doctor was subsequent­ly arrested, along with several reporters.

Navalny, 44, is the preeminent political opponent of President Vladimir Putin. Navalny survived a poisoning with a military nerve agent last summer that Western government­s called an assassinat­ion attempt by the Kremlin, which has denied any role.

In January, he voluntaril­y returned to Russia after receiving treatment in Germany. Upon arrival, he was arrested at the airport for a parole violation related to a suspended sentence from 2014.

In recent weeks, Navalny has experience­d back pain and numbness in his legs, according to his social media accounts, which post under his name with informatio­n he conveys to lawyers. The lawyers said in a recent interview that they suspect these conditions are either lingering symptoms of the poisoning or are the result of a herniated spinal disk.

Navalny is also now nearly a week into a hunger strike over what his social media accounts describe as prison officials’ failure to provide him with sufficient medical care.

In addition, prison doctors said Monday that Navalny showed signs of a respirator­y ailment.

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