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Russian opposition leader in coma after poisoning

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/20/20, 04:01 am

Alexei Navalny was on a flight heading back to Moscow from Siberia today when he began to feel unwell and lost consciousness, according to a spokeswoman. Kira Yarmysh said doctors believe he likely ingested poison, which she assumed was mixed into his tea earlier in the morning. “He is in a coma in grave condition,” Yarmysh wrote on Twitter.

Why was he poisoned? Navalny’s lawyer, Vyacheslav Gimadi, believes the poisoning likely is in response to Navalny’s political activity. He has challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership and founded the Foundation for Fighting Corruption, which exposes graft among top-level government officials. Gimadi asked Russia’s Investigative Committee to open a criminal probe in the matter. Last year, Navalny was hospitalized in another case of suspected poisoning while he served a prison sentence.

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report in Globe Trot on Navalny’s poisoning last year.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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