Germany Hospital Says Critic Of Russian Government Was Indeed Poisoned

( Don’t cross the Russian government, or you’ll be poisoned.

Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition leader in Russia, was poisoned, according to the hospital in Germany where he is currently being treated.

Navalny was originally treated in a Russian hospital, which concluded that Navalny wasn’t poisoned. He spent two days at a hospital in Omsk after the plane he was flying in made an emergency landing. He was flying from Siberia to Moscow.

Doctors at that hospital said there wasn’t any sign of poisoning. They suggested instead that his condition could’ve been a result of a sharp drop in his blood sugar levels.

The deputy chief physician of the Omsk Emergency Hospital No. 1, Anatoly Kalinichenko, said on Monday:

“This is why the patient was taken to the toxicology department. If we had found any confirmation of poisoning, things would have been much easier for us. We received definitive answers from two laboratories, which said they did not detect any chemical or toxic substances they could describe as poisons or poisoning products.”

Navalny’s family wanted him moved to another hospital, though, which doctors approved of last Friday. He was then flown to Germany the next day.

On Monday, officials at the Charite hospital in Berlin said Navalny, who is 44 years old, was suffering from “intoxication by a substance from the group cholinesterase inhibitors,” which severely contradicts the Russian doctors’ conclusions.

The German doctors weren’t sure of the exact substance that was used to poison Navalny. But they did confirm that the toxin blocks an enzyme that is needed for the nervous system to function properly.

Right now, Navalny is in a medically-induced coma, but the hospital said “there is no acute danger to his life.” He is currently being treated with atropine, which treats some pesticide and nerve agent poisons.

In a statement, the German doctors said:

“Longer-term effects, especially in the area of the nervous system, cannot be ruled out.”

In Germany, Navalny is under the protection of the country’s Federal Criminal Police Office. That agency also provides security for German officials such as Chancellor Angela Markel.

Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for the German government, said:

“It was clear after his arrival that security measures had to be put in place because we are dealing with a patient who was likely the target of a poison attack.”

He also said that other critics of the Russian government have been the subject of poisonings over the last few years. Other state-ordered attacks via poison include Sergei Skripal, a former spy for Russia, and his adult daughter in England two years ago.

In that attack, a different, deadlier version was given to the agent.

In a joint statement, Heiko Mass, the German Foreign Minister, and Merkel said:

“Given Mr. Navalny’s prominent role in Russia’s political opposition, the authorities there are now urgently called upon to clarify this act to its fullest, and with complete transparency. Those responsible must be investigated and held to account.”