US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned on Sunday that Russia would face “consequences” if Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin’s most prominent opponent, and hunger striker, dies in prison. At the same time, his supporters called for Wednesday’s protest in Moscow.
According to his lawyer, he has gone on a hunger strike since March 31 in protest at his poor detention conditions, accusing the prison administration of preventing him from accessing a doctor and medicine after suffering a double herniated disc.
For his part, on Sunday, the German Foreign Minister urged the Russian authorities to provide “adequate medical care” for Nafalni, given that his health condition had deteriorated.
In an interview with Bild newspaper, Heiko Maas demanded that the main opponent of the imprisoned Kremlin “obtain doctors he can trust,” adding that “his right to medical care must be guaranteed without any delay.”
In Russia’s first official reaction, Russia’s ambassador to London said that his country would not let Navalny die in prison.
It is noteworthy that doctors close to Navalny said Saturday that they feared that he would suffer a heart attack “between one minute and another” due to the “critical” level of the potassium concentration in his blood.
In a letter addressed to the administration of the Pokrov prison where he is located, they demanded that he be immediately placed in the intensive care unit.
“It’s not about Navalny’s freedom anymore but his life.”
On Sunday, Navalny’s supporters called for a demonstration on Wednesday, April 21, to “save the life” of the Kremlin opponent, who suffers from poor health, according to his supporters.
“There’s no time left; it’s time to act,” Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s close aide, wrote in a Facebook post.
“It is no longer a matter of Navalny’s freedom, but of his life, at the moment, he is being killed in prison, and we cannot wait any longer.”
Organizing the demonstration coincides with the annual speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Parliament, in which he will address the “goals” of Russia’s development and the legislative elections scheduled for next fall.
“Call all your friends and go out to the main squares. Gather in the largest city you can reach on Wednesday evening,” Volkov said, calling on the Russians to participate in the “final battle” between “good” and “absolute evil.”
“Putin expressly prohibits all opposition activities in Russia. This means that this gathering could be the last in the country for years to come. But we can change that,” calling on his citizens to “not be afraid anymore.”
Navalny, who was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, where he underwent treatment after the poisoning operation last year, accused the Kremlin and the Russian security services of standing behind it, was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment for violating the conditions of his conditional release in a previous corruption case, describing the court ruling against him as politicized.