The main Russian opponent, Alexeï Navalny, in a coma following what his relatives claim to be “poisoning”, was hospitalized in Berlin on Saturday in “stable” condition after a transfer from Russia.
His convoy escorted by the police and including two yellow ambulances arrived shortly after 10:20 a.m. local (4:20 a.m. in Quebec) at the emergency department of the Charité hospital, one of the most famous in Europe, AFP noted.
“Alexeï Navalny’s state of health is stable,” the leader of the German NGO Cinema for Peace, Jaka Bizilj, told AFP, who chartered the ambulance plane with which the opponent was brought back. , after a standoff between his relatives and the Russian authorities.
Hospital management said the doctors were “currently carrying out a comprehensive medical diagnosis” which should take “some time”. They only planned to speak after these exams.
The entourage of the most famous opponent of the Kremlin has claimed since Thursday that he was the victim of “intentional poisoning” “with something that was mixed with his tea”, which Russian doctors have denied.
For its part, the Ministry of Health of the Omsk region said on Saturday that “caffeine and alcohol were found in the urine” of the opponent. “No convulsive or synthetic poison has been discovered,” the ministry statement said.
But Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Iarmych said as early as Thursday that he had neither drunk nor taken any medicine.
The private jet, which had taken off from the Siberian city of Omsk, touched down at around 8.47am local time (4.47am in Quebec) on the tarmac at Tegel Airport, northwest of Berlin.
The aircraft was originally scheduled to land at Schönefeld Airport, southeast of the city. But he eventually made his way to the other airport in the German capital.
Mr. Navalny was in the plane which was immobilized on the tarmac for over an hour before being transferred.
His arrival in the German capital comes after a day of tense face-to-face meetings between his relatives and Russian doctors over his evacuation.
“Thank you all for your perseverance. Without your support, we couldn’t have taken him! “, Thanked the opponent’s wife, Yulia Navalnaïa, who accompanied him during the flight on Instagram.
The Russian hospital where the former lawyer was admitted on Thursday gave the green light to his transport to Germany on Friday evening, after initially opposing it.
Alexei Navalny was on Thursday from Tomsk, Siberia, to Moscow by plane when he became unwell. The aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Omsk. “Without this emergency landing he would have died,” Jaka Bizilj said.
After being admitted to the hospital in this western Siberian city, he was placed in intensive care with artificial respiration. He was in a coma, in serious condition before leaving for the German capital.
Cinema for Peace, committed to the defense of human rights, assured financing this medical transport with private funds but without revealing the names of the donors that it solicited on short notice, according to Mr. Bizilj.
Russian doctors emphasized that they favor the hypothesis of a “carbohydrate imbalance” caused by a drop in blood sugar levels.
Navalny’s spokeswoman attributed the initial refusal of Russian doctors to let him go to an intention to “buy time and wait until the poison can no longer be detected in his body”.
The hospital finally gave its consent in the evening, after German doctors examined the patient and a letter from his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, urging President Vladimir Putin to authorize the evacuation.
The opponent’s family also appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Charité Hospital in Berlin treated in 2018 another Russian opponent, Piotr Verzilov, who was transported in serious condition from Moscow by the same NGO. German doctors had concluded that he had “very likely” been the victim of poisoning.
Main opponent of the Kremlin, whose publications denouncing the corruption of Russian elites are widely shared on the Internet, Alexeï Navalny has already been the victim of several physical attacks.