MOSCOW (AP) — Russian doctors gave a dissident who is in a coma after a suspected poisoning permission to be transferred abroad for medical treatment, in a sudden reversal Friday that came after more than 24 hours of wrangling over Alexei Navalny’s condition and treatment.
Navalny, a 44-year-old politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, was admitted to an intensive care unit in the Siberian city of Omsk on Thursday. His supporters believe that tea he drank was laced with poison — and that the Kremlin is behind both his illness and the delay in transferring him to a top German hospital. It would not be the first time a prominent, outspoken Russian was targeted in such a way — or the first time the Kremlin was accused of being behind it.
Russian doctors say there is no evidence of poisoning, and the Kremlin denied the authorities tried to prevent the transfer from happening.