JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Suspected Poisoning of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Most Prominent Adversary” – The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Alexey Navalny … creator of Russia’s leading alternative-media outlet and its only real political organization, is now in a coma in the Siberian city of Omsk. [An] anti-corruption blogger[,] … for years [Navalny] has been … Putin’s only formidable opponent[,] … [i.e., Putin’s] only adversary who has remained in Russia, stayed active, and maintained prominence despite repeated attacks from the authorities[.] [Navalny] has been hospitalized in an [ICU] … His assistant and press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, suspects Navalny has been poisoned. … Navalny and Yarmysh boarded a plane from Tomsk to Moscow …. Soon after takeoff, Navalny felt unwell and broke out in a sweat …. then disappeared into the bathroom. … [A] video [posted to twitter] show[ed] emergency medical personnel going to Navalny’s aid, as Navalny is heard screaming … it appears … this video was recorded after the plane landed in Omsk, about a third of the way [in the usually four-hour-long flight] …. Yarmysh tweeted … all Navalny … consumed that day was tea … [and] she suspected … this was how he was poisoned.

The history of Russian opposition figures … poisoned is … long …. Pyotr Verzilov, an activist with the protest-art group Pussy Riot and an opposition publisher, spent months recovering from an apparent poisoning that put him in intensive care, in Moscow, in … 2018. … [J]ournalist and historian Vladimir Kara-Murza was poisoned twice, in 2015 and 2017 … close to death both times. … [D]efector spy Sergei Skripal and … daughter[] Yulia[] were poisoned with … chemical-warfare agent Novichok in England[] in 2018. [D]efector Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium[] in 2006. [I]nvestigative journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin died in agony in a Moscow hospital[] in 2003; his colleague Anna Politkovskaya survived a similar poisoning, in 2004, only to be shot to death, in 2006. …”

In Litvinenko’s case, radioactive polonium was apparently added to Litvinenko’s tea in a restaurant teapot. When Politkovskaya was poisoned, apparently the poison was added to her tea on an airplane.

Click here for: “The Suspected Poisoning of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Most Prominent Adversary” – The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen




[featured image of Navalny is file photo adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode]