Mass Protests Called Across Russia to 'Save Navalny's Life'

Marco Green
April 19, 2021

US President Joe Biden on Saturday criticized Navalny's treatment.

Joe Biden said Alexei Navalny was in a "totally unfair" situation.

Biden failed to publicly address the issue when speaking about recent sanctions against Russian Federation last week and was seemingly unaware of the opposition leader's condition when confronted by reporters.

The Kremlin has prevented Navalny's personal doctors from seeing him and insists he's receiving adequate care. The Kremlin denies the allegation.

France, Germany and the European Union on Sunday joined a growing worldwide chorus of protest at Navalny's plight, and EU foreign ministers will discuss the situation on Monday.

Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Navalny-backed Alliance of Doctors union, said on Twitter that "action must be taken immediately".

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that Biden is weighing up a range of responses if Navalny dies, and that Moscow is aware of the threat.

Navalny was ordered to serve 2 1/2 years in prison on the grounds that his long recovery in Germany violated a suspended sentence he had been given for a fraud conviction in a case that Navalny says was politically motivated.

Navalny said he was wa going on a hunger strike on March 31 in protest for not getting medical treatment.

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His physician Yaroslav Ashikhmin said test results Navalny's family shared with him showed he was at increased risk of cardiac arrest because of elevated potassium levels, and that his kidneys were deteriorating.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for Navalny to receive immediate medical care as did the US State Department, while French President Emmanuel Macron said world powers should draw "clear red lines" with Russian Federation and consider possible sanctions when they are crossed.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had earlier said the situation was "extremely concerning" and that Putin held a "major responsibility". "These have already been significant sanctions, but new ones may also be imposed", Le Drian said on Sunday as aired by France 3 broadcaster.

"Alexei is dying", spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Saturday.

In such a condition, Ashikhmin wrote on Facebook, a patient would normally be moved to an intensive care unit. "In his condition, it is a matter of days".

Mr Navalny's allies say he refused prison medical treatment because it is outdated and, at times, even unsafe.

"We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the global community", Sullivan said.

Before Navalny fell ill, his allies had planned to hold a mass protest this spring once 500,000 people registered on a website saying they were ready to take part.

As of Sunday, almost 460,000 people had signed up, but Navalny's team announced the protest saying they could not wait any longer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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