Russian prison service says Putin critic Navalny's health 'stable and satisfactory'

Russian prison service says Putin critic Navalny's health 'stable and satisfactory'
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Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service on Thursday said prominent imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s health is “stable and satisfactory,” as Navalny’s allies continue to raise concerns about his well-being.

The Russian prison service said prisons in the Vladimir region where Navalny is prisoned had conducted medical examinations on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

“His health is deemed stable and satisfactory, according to the results of the examination,” the Interfax news agency reported, citing the penitentiary service.


Navalny's allies were not reassured by the statement, according to Reuters.

“Now we are really worried,” the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which Navalny founded, wrote on Twitter. “Even the Federal Penitentiary Service can’t call Navalny’s condition good.”

Navalny was poisoned last year with what is believed to have been a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok. The Russian critic was hospitalized in Germany for treatment.

After returning to Russia, he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in February for violating parole while recovering from the poisoning.

Navalny's imprisonment has led to international outcry and protests in Russia. The European Court of Human Rights, Europe's highest human rights court, called for Navalny's release due to the “nature and extent of risk to the applicant’s life.” Thousands of Russian protesters have been arrested during pro-Navalny demonstrations that the Russian government has cracked down on.

The Biden administration issued several sanctions against Russia in March over the use of chemical weapons against dissidents including Navalny. The Department of Commerce blocked the export of items controlled for national security reasons that were meant to go to Russia.