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Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny slipped into coma – Burning Issues – Free PDF Download




  • Last year, Navalny was hospitalised after he suffered an allergic reaction in jail, possibly from an unknown chemical substance. Two years before this, Navalny was doused with a bright green liquid in the Siberian city of Barnaul by an assailant who pretended to shake his hand.


  • On Thursday, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, was put on ventilator support in a Siberian hospital after he consumed a cup of tea that is suspected to be poisoned.
  • Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter that while Navalny was returning to Moscow by air, he felt unwell as a result of which the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk. She added that Navalny has toxic poisoning.

Who is Aleksei Navalny?

  • Navalny, who is a lawyer-turned-activist came to prominence in 2008 after he started exposing corruption in Russian politics through a blog and in 2018, he was barred from standing against Putin in the presidential elections.
  • He has also been arrested on multiple occasions and since he started political campaigning, Navalny has spearheaded many anti-corruption rallies in Russia.

Other alleged poisonings by Russia

  • Sergei Skripal: On March 4, 2018, former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in the British city Salisbury after they were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent Novichok. Both of them have since recovered, including police.
  • Pyotr Verzilov: A few months after Skripal, an anti-Kremlin activist and Putin critic who is a member of the Russian protest group called Pussy Riot was taken ill after a poisoning attempt.

Other alleged poisonings by Russia

  • Vladimir Kara-Murza: In 2017, Putin critic and journalist Kara-Murza fell into a coma after a suspected poisoning attempt. In 2015, Kara-murza nearly died and suffered sudden kidney failure after another alleged poisoning attempt.
  • Alexander Litvinenko: Former spy Litvinenko, who was being paid by the MI6 and was investigating Spanish links to Russia, was killed in November 2006 after he ingested a fatal dose of polonium 210 while drinking tea at Millenium Hotel in London. and in 2001 was given asylum in Britain.


  • Russia has long been known to use poison as a way of eliminating political dissidents and spies. An article published by the Atlantic Council, a think tank, says many victims of Putin’s assassins, “serve as useful symbols of what happens to anyone accused of betraying or otherwise cheating the Kremlin.”
  • Add to this that since the Cold War, the Soviet Union heavily invested in the development of poisons as a way of targetting enemies, an article in Foreign Policy says. In 1921, Laboratory 12 was established on the outskirts of Moscow and researched poisons, drugs and psychotropic substances, thereby giving the Kremlin an array of tools to choose from.



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