Russia says Alexei Navalny is in “generally good health” after his team voiced concerns

Russia says Alexei Navalny is in "generally good health" after his team voiced concerns

The Russian Federal Prison Service (FSIN) reported Thursday that inmates in the country’s Vladimir region, where Navalny is being held, received medical examinations on Wednesday at the prisoners’ request, according to state media TASS.

The FSIN statement said Navalny was among those tested and the anti-corruption activist was “generally in good health and stable”.

He was a permanent thorn in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s side, raising concerns about his safety in the country, and the activist nearly died after being poisoned with the nerve gas Novichok last August.

a A joint investigation by CNN and the Bellingcat Group The Russian Security Service (FSB) was involved in the poisoning of Navalny. Russia denies involvement in the poisoning crime, but many Western officials and Navalny himself have publicly blamed the Kremlin. Navalny returned to Russia in January after five months in Germany, where he was recovering.

Navalny’s legal team told CNN on Wednesday that last week he had complained of back pain and on Tuesday began feeling numb in one of his legs.

Vadim Kupzev, one of the activist’s lawyer, told CNN that he and his colleague Olga Mikhailova were waiting in Punishment Colony No. 2 in Pokrov in the Vladimir region to see Navalny on a pre-scheduled visit on Wednesday.

After a few hours of waiting they weren’t allowed to see him. They were told that the visit was canceled due to “regime measures”.

“We don’t know what’s behind this,” said Kopzev.

“We demand that we be able to see him to check his health. [Last] Friday, he was examined by a neurologist, and the diagnosis was not revealed to him after that. “

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The lawyer added, “He was prescribing two ibuprofen tablets for him a day. It all started with his spine. [on Tuesday] He said his leg was starting to feel numb. I cannot tell you if leg problems are related to the spine and not as a doctor. “

Navalny’s lawyers said they entered the colony on Thursday, but it is unclear if they will meet the activist.

Navalny was jailed earlier this year for violating conditions of probation in a 2014 case in which he was sentenced to three and a half years suspended prison sentence.

A Moscow court took into account the 11 months that Navalny had already spent under house arrest as part of the decision and replaced the remainder of the suspended sentence with a prison sentence last month.

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Kubzev stressed on Wednesday that it was critical that Navalny’s lawyers meet with him to verify his safety.

“We believe that, first of all, we must see him, and secondly, he needs to be examined by a regular civil specialist who diagnoses and prescribes the treatment that he can undergo,” he said, adding that at least one person is interviewed by the activist’s lawyers every day.

Maria Bevchich, Head of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund Investigation Unit, took to Twitter to express her concerns about his health.

“This is the first time that Navalny’s lawyer has not been allowed to see him on a specific day. Alexei ‘s exact whereabouts are currently unknown,” she wrote.

“FSIN said Navalny had undergone a medical examination in the colony and his health was found to be ‘satisfactory’,” Navalny’s press secretary Kira Yarmisch wrote on Twitter. “They said that in Omsk as well,” she added, referring to the time Navalny was in a coma after being poisoned in 2020.

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