A plane carrying Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in a coma after alleged poisoning, flew to a German hospital on Saturday.
Pictures from the asphalt of an airport in the Siberian city of Omsk show Navalny being lifted into a private ambulance that was chartered to be flown to Berlin's Charite hospital for treatment.
The flight took off shortly after 8 a.m. local time and should take about five hours.
Navalny's personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva confirmed this morning that he had been placed into an "artificial" coma to help stop his "very deep convulsions".
Believing that a "poison or poison" must have caused Navalny's extreme condition, she said that a "metabolic change" – the cause cited by Russian doctors – could not have harmed his brain.
A video at the Omsk hospital showed an ambulance with the back doors open when the unconscious Navalny was loaded with masks by medics.
Additional footage showed the ambulance entering Omsk Airport before a five and a half hour flight to Berlin.
The private ambulance was chartered by the German NGO Cinema for Peace.
Navalny, a 44-year-old politician and corruption investigator who is one of the sharpest critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was admitted to an intensive care unit in Omsk on Thursday.
His followers believe the tea he drank was covered in poison – and that the Kremlin is behind both his illness and the delay in getting him to a top German hospital.
Dr. Vasilyeva said she went to the hospital in Siberia but was not allowed to visit him.
She told Radio 4's Today Program, “They didn't allow anyone except Julia, his wife, and his brother to come and visit him. That's why I didn't see him, but I talked to his doctors and at least they described the whole clinical picture and I understood everything about his health, about his condition now, and it's not very good news.
She added, “So he's in a coma. He's in coma number two and has a poisonous agent, a poisonous substance that I think (…) only a poison or poisonous agent can have such an impact that it damages the brain. & # 39;
She said he had "cramp syndrome" and that his coma was "artificial" to prevent "very deep convulsions".
She continued, “What can lead to this condition? Just a poisonous substance. Russian doctors did not say anything about it. They said it was just metabolic and carbohydrate changes. But all doctors can understand that no damage and change in the metabolic system can cause damage to the brain. & # 39;
She hopes that German doctors can help Navalny. She said: “If he was in Germany at the time of his fall, maybe you can quickly understand what the substance is. But now you can treat his symptoms and illness. & # 39;
When German specialists first arrived on a plane with advanced medical equipment on Friday morning at his family's behest, the doctors at Navalny in Omsk said he was too unstable to move.
The supporters of Navalny denounced that it was a trick of the authorities to stop until a poison in his system was no longer traceable.
Medical specialists carry Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on a stretcher into an ambulance on the way to an airport before he is evacuated to Germany in Omsk, Russia
A plane carrying Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (pictured being lifted onto the plane), who is in a coma after suspected poisoning and left for a German hospital on Saturday
The plane took off from an airport in the Siberian city of Omsk shortly after 8 a.m. local time (picture)
Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh confirmed the departure on Twitter. The flight to Berlin (picture) should take about five hours
Navalny was loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher before being driven to the airport. His followers believe that the tea he drank was poisonous
Alexei Navalny remains in a coma in a Russian hospital after allies say he was poisoned with a "deadly" substance slipped into his cup of tea (pictured drinking)
Navalny's personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva (pictured) confirmed this morning that he had been placed into an "artificial" coma to stop his "very deep convulsions"
The Omsk medical team only gave in after a charity that organized the Medevac plane announced that the German doctors were examining the politician and saying he was fit for transport.
After their decision, the German medics were marched into a nearby car and thrown from the hospital.
Navalny's family was told they must take responsibility for the consequences of the seriously ill anti-corruption fighter's move to Germany.
Early this morning, his wife asked President Vladimir Putin to release her comatose husband after Russian doctors claimed he had heart disease.
Navalny's wife Julia asked arch-rival Vladimir Putin to allow him to leave the country for treatment after falling into a coma.
Yulia, who was not allowed to see her husband since he passed out on a flight from Siberia to Moscow yesterday, said it was important that he be brought to Germany for specialist treatment.
Alexander Murakhovsky, the hospital's chief physician, flatly denied the claim that Navalny was poisoned. He has heart disease caused by low blood sugar.
He also said "industrial chemicals" were found on his hands and clothes, but did not say what they were.
Medics at the hospital insist they are more than capable of treating the disease, even with pictures exposing the gloomy interior of the Soviet-era building.
An ambulance carrying Alexei Navalny arrives at Russian Omsk Airport in the early hours of Saturday morning after suspected of being poisoned
Yulia Navalny, the wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei, has asked arch-rival Vladimir Putin to allow her husband to be taken out of the country for treatment after falling into a coma on suspicion of being poisoned with toxins in his tea
Doctors at the hospital where Putin critic Alexei Navalny is being treated say that no trace of poison was found in his body – although a chemical was found on his clothes and hands
In a letter to Putin, Julia said it was important that her husband be flown out of the country to be treated by specialists. Pictures showed the dirty interior of the hospital where he is being treated
Navalny was rushed to Ormsk Hospital in Siberia yesterday after passing out on a flight. Since then, the hospital has been flooded by security guards and the Russian police (picture)
Medics at the hospital who insist that Navalny was not poisoned and has a metabolism caused by low blood sugar insist that they are more than capable of treating his condition – even if pictures revealed the dire conditions (left and right)
The pictures showed paint peeling on the walls, signs of water damage, rusted sinks and doors, an unclean toilet, and parts of the building covered with plywood.
Another picture showed two Russian security guards in suits marching down a dimly lit corridor to a masked doctor walking in the opposite direction.
Yulia, Navalny's wife, accused the Kremlin of forcing doctors to postpone the evacuation until all traces of poison are gone from her husband's body, making it impossible to prove that he was attacked.
The Kremlin has refused to participate, insisting that the decision to keep Navalny in Russia was a "purely medical decision."
Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, said doctors and the Kremlin both agreed to the move, but at 9.45 a.m. – 15 minutes before the evacuation plane arrived – medics suddenly changed their minds.
"So far, doctors have said they are ready to clear the move," she tweeted early Friday. “That's why we organized it in a very short time.
An ambulance was chartered from Germany to Ormsk on Friday to take Navalny to Berlin for treatment, but the doctors denied him permission to travel at the last moment
Ivan Zhadnov, director of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, said that anyone who comes in contact with him is required to wear a protective suit because of a "deadly dangerous" substance
Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokeswoman (pictured outside the hospital today), accused the Kremlin of making a second attempt in his life after refusing to let him leave the country
How Alexei Navalny was punished for defying Putin
2011: Navalny is arrested and detained for 15 days for resisting an official after leading protests in Moscow
2012: Detained 15 days after leading a protest against Putin after the presidential election. His home is then searched and some of his private emails are put online
2013: On trial for embezzlement on allegations of attempting to steal wood from a state company. He is convicted and sentenced to five years but released on bail. The conviction is then overturned
2014: Placed under house arrest, tried again for embezzlement alongside Brother Oleg. Here, too, the conviction is canceled
2017: He is convicted again in the first corruption case and sentenced to repayment of millions of rubles in compensation in the second
As he leaves his office, a pro-Kremlin activist throws green disinfectant in his face and partially hides him
2018: Arrested twice for leading protests against presidential elections. He wasn't allowed to enter. A total of 50 days in prison
2019: Arrested and detained for a total of 40 days for leading protests during the Moscow Duma elections. While he was in prison, he was hospitalized and suffered from what is known as an allergic reaction. Others believe he was poisoned
2020: Navalny is taken unconscious to the hospital and put on a ventilator after falling ill on a flight. His allies say he was poisoned
“Now, at the last moment, doctors don't give permission. That decision was not made by them, of course, but by the Kremlin. & # 39;
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said German doctors who arrived on Friday had been invited to join Russian doctors treating Navalny.
On a conference call, Peskov said it was still unclear why Navalny got sick when he flew back from Siberia to Moscow on Thursday morning.
Medics later suggested that Navalny's blood pressure was low and that traces of chemicals had been found on his fingers and clothes – without saying what the chemicals were.
Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and Putin's most threatening political rival, fell seriously ill after suddenly falling ill on a plane from Tomsk to Moscow.
His aides and family believe that an unidentified "poisonous poison" was added to his tea prior to his flight at Tomsk Airport.
The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk and he was taken to hospital.
Today's hospital bosses stated that his condition was too severe to be taken either to another Russian hospital or – as his family and helpers wish – to an ambulance from Germany.
His spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said, “The transportation ban for Alexei poses a direct threat to his life.
"It is fatal in the current situation to be left in the Omsk hospital without equipment and diagnosis."
She said Putin's deputy chief of staff and spokesman Dmitry Peskov had promised to move Navalny if necessary.
Yesterday, Peskov promised to help with the treatment of Navalny and transport to another clinic.
"Today doctors are refusing permission to transport him."
She warned, "Navalny's life now depends on the fact that the ICU chief physician has refused to" take responsibility "- by allowing him, ideally, to be taken abroad to a well-equipped flying ICU."
Navalny fell ill on a forced landing plane when fellow passengers heard him scream in pain before he was taken unconscious to an ambulance
Police officers arrest a protester as he supports the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in front of the Federal Security Service building in Moscow
A protester stands in front of a police officer and holds a placard that reads "Putin will stop poisoning people!" during a picket in support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny
Anatoly Kalinichenko, the hospital's deputy chief physician, speaks to media representatives who have been camped out there for two days, waiting for news of Putin's rivals
Yulia Navalny, the activist's wife and mother of his two children, added that she believed the delay in transportation was to reduce the toxin to levels that would no longer be detectable after he moved.
This means that his supporters can never confirm that he was poisoned or what he was poisoned with.
Zhdanov added: “All relevant documents have been submitted.
& # 39; There was an application from a family member, approval from a clinic in Germany and documents for transport (by ambulance).
"The clinic's decision is inexplicable and egregious."
He said, “The doctors have now locked themselves in the doctor's office.
"Nobody is allowed to see them."
Navalny's camp says they are not being given the correct details of his condition and that he can get on the ambulance and be flown to Berlin.
The chief doctor in Omsk, Alexander Murakovsky, denied any knowledge of any poison in Navalny's body, saying the tests were ongoing and would take two more days.
"We cannot allow the patient to be transported under the responsibility of relatives unless the patient's clinical condition is stable," he said.
"His current condition worries us about the transport."
When moved, "anything can happen, even the saddest".
Navalny has been fighting corruption in Russian state-owned companies since 2008 and vowed to stand against Putin in the 2018 elections, but was excluded from the race
Omsk traffic police spokeswoman Julia Shwartz refused to confirm that a deadly substance had been found.
"The analysis is still ongoing and we have no results yet."
Russia has sent intensive care specialists, neurophysiologists and anesthetists have been sent to Omsk from two leading Moscow clinics, the Pirogov Medical and Surgical Center and the Burdenko Center of Neurosurgery.
Navalny's wife, Yulia, flew to his hospital yesterday to claim that relatives had not been given full facts about his condition.
Chancellor Angela Merkel offered treatment for Putin's enemy in Germany.
"I hope he can recover and … he can get all the help and medical assistance that we need," she said.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov wished Navalny a "speedy recovery" and told the Kremlin. Would help him get treatment abroad if necessary.
He claimed the poisoning allegations were "just assumptions" until tests proved otherwise.
Political scientist Tatiana Stanovaya said Navalny has "hundreds of enemies, including some die-hard individuals," referring to his anti-corruption investigations, which attract millions of visitors online.
THE THORN IN PUTINS PAGE: WHO IS ALEXEI NAVALNY?
Alexei Navalny was born in 1976 to a mother and father who owned a basketwork south of Moscow. He spent his childhood between Russia and Ukraine, where his father's family lives.
In 1998 he graduated from Peoples' Friendship University in Russia with a law degree and then studied finance.
While Navalny was politically active in opposition circles from 2000, he was first He first came to prominence in 2008 when he bought shares in large Russian state-owned companies and asked awkward questions about their finances at board meetings.
He also started blogging about alleged corruption in the companies and relating them to officials in Vladimir Putin's government.
In 2010 he received a scholarship for the World Fellows Program at Yale University and spent a semester in the USA.
Return to Russia in 2011, He urged followers on his blog and social media to vote against Putin's "United Russia" party in the general election.
The party won, but by a greatly reduced majority, and the victory was marred by allegations of election fraud and anti-corruption protests.
Navalny carried out mass demonstrations against Putin in the run-up to the 2012 presidential elections and was arrested several times.
Putin easily won the election, and shortly afterwards the Russian investigative committee opened an investigation into Navalny.
In 2013 he was charged with embezzlement, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison – a punishment that he condemned as political.
To the surprise of many, he was released on bail so that he could run as head of the newly formed Progress Party in the Moscow mayoral elections against Putin's ally Sergey Sobyanin.
Navalny is pictured with his supporters in Tomsk just before he fell ill
Navalny lost the vote and received 27 percent of the vote. However, this was viewed as an unexpected success as it was effectively banned from appearing on television.
The following year, Navalny was placed under house arrest before his embezzlement convictions were overturned by the Russian Supreme Court following a similar ruling by the EU.
In 2016, he announced his intention to run against Putin in the 2018 elections and prompted Russian prosecutors to re-convict him on corruption charges.
He was then convicted, which means that he was automatically excluded from the election.
In 2017, he was left partially blind in one eye after attackers threw green dye on his face as a disinfectant outside his office.
In August last year, he suffered rashes and swollen face when he was in police custody at short notice asking for illegal protests.
He was taken to the hospital where doctors said he had an allergic reaction, but Navalny asked for an investigation into the poisoning.
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