Prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny remains in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator more than a week after falling ill from an apparent poisoning but his symptoms appear to be receding, his spokeswoman said Friday as doctors race to identify the substance with which he may have been poisoned.
Navalny, 44, has been receiving treatment in Germany after spending two days in a Siberian hospital where Russian doctors ruled out that the de facto leader of Russia’s opposition was poisoned.
“He’s still in an induced coma and is connected to a ventilator,” Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter.
“His condition is severe but the symptoms of poisoning are receding,” she added.
“There’s currently no serious threat to his life. Still, the doctors aren’t giving any forecasts,” Yarmysh tweeted.
Berlin’s Charité hospital said earlier this week that multiple independent tests indicated that he was poisoned with an unidentified substance belonging to a group of chemicals that affect the nervous system.
Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine reported that Charité made contact with Bulgarian colleagues over a potential link to the 2015 poisoning of an arms dealer there. On Friday, it reported that Charité sought help from the German army’s secret toxicology lab and the British defense science and technology lab in Porton Down that participated in the 2018 Skripal poisoning investigation.
In a statement on its website Friday, the hospital said it was too early to gauge potential long-term effects “due to the severity of the patient’s poisoning.”