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Putin's opponent Alexei Navany returns to prison despite possible poisoning: NPR



Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny takes part in a protest on July 20 in Moscow.

Pavel Golovkin / AP


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Pavel Golovkin / AP

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny will take part in a protest on July 20 in Moscow.

Pavel Golovkin / AP

A prominent Russian opposition leader was released from a Moscow hospital on Monday and sent back to prison, although his doctor claims he was poisoned by an unknown chemical substance while in detention.

A day before, Alexei Navalny The 43-year-old was hospitalized with an "allergic reaction". His spokesman said he had "severe swelling of the face and erythema," a reaction he never had in the past.

Navalny was arrested a few days before a Saturday's opposition demonstration and is currently serving a 30-day sentence. More than 1,300 people were arrested after protesting against the exclusion of opposition candidates from the elections to the Moscow City Council.

Navalny pointed out the possibility that he had been poisoned in prison by a chemical agent, as stated in a blog post quoted by the Associated Press. His doctor, dr. Anastasiya Vasilyeva, suspected that Navalny may have been chemically poisoned, although this suspicion could not be confirmed. Vasileva said Nawalny had been returned to the prison for a proper check-up, but she had taken his hair samples in hopes of getting an independent assessment. The opposition leader has already been targeted. In 2017, he suffered partial loss of vision after being attacked and doused with a green antiseptic. His vision was restored after being treated abroad.


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