The politician and corruption investigator, who is one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics,was flown into the German capital on board an air ambulance. Navalny, 44, had collapsed while on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Thursday and after an emergency landing was transferred to a hospital in Omsk. But his allies claimed the tea he had at the airport was spiked and the Kremlin was behind this and the delay in transferring him to Germany. The medevac aircraft had arrived on Friday but hospital officials claimed he was too unwell to be moved, which his supporters denounced as a delaying tactic until any remaining poison had left his body.
Hospital officials also suggested a metabolic disorder was the most likely diagnosis and a drop in blood sugar may have caused Navalny to lose consciousness.
But amid mounting international pressure, the flight was allowed to leave at short notice yesterday.
Jaka Bizilj, of the German NGO Cinema For Peace which chartered the flight said: “His health condition is very worrying.
“We got a very clear message from the doctors that if there had not been an emergency landing in Omsk, he would have died.”
The Charite hospital where Navalny is being treated said extensive tests were being carried out and doctors would not comment on his illness until those were completed.
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Navalny’s personal doctor AnastasiaVasilyeva also said he had regular check ups and had been in good health.
Speaking on Radio 4’sToday programme she said she had been barred from visiting her patient but had spoken to Russian doctors and it was “not very good news”.
Navalny had been left with brain damage and placed in an induced coma to stop his “very deep convulsions.”
She said: “What can lead to this condition? Only some toxic substance. Russian doctors didn’t say anything about it.
“They said it is only metabolic changes and carbohydrate changes. But all doctors can understand that no damage and changes of the metabolic system can lead to damage of the brain.”
It would not be the first time a prominent outspoken Russian had been targeted in such a way.
Alexander Litvinenko who left Russia after exposing Vladimir Putin’s corruption was fatally poisoned after he drank tea laced with radioactive Polonium in a London hotel in 2006.
It is widely believed his killers were sent on the orders of Putin.
Two years ago anti-Kremlin activist and a member of the Pussy Riot art collective Pyotr Verzilov was treated atThe Charite hospital after he was poisoned in Moscow.