Politicizing Alexey Navalny’s Illness

Politicized claims that Putin critic Navalny (with scant public support) was poisoned appear greatly exaggerated.

On Tuesday, Moscow’s Health Department Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination director Sergey Shigeev explained the following:

“There is a lot of information in the media outlets on the possible poisoning as a proven accepted fact.”

“After carefully examining all information presented in the news outlets,” conclusions drawn about Navalny “are too hasty,” adding:

“(I)t is possible to talk only about the fact that the patient had a low cholinesterase activity which led to a conclusion that this is the result of a poisoning with cholinesterase inhibitors.”

“This conclusion is hasty since it is not proven.”

“The level of decrease in the cholinesterase activity is unknown.”

“The specific substance or its metabolites which caused the decrease in the cholinesterase activity have not been identified.”

“(T)he clinical picture of the emergence and development of the illness under these particular conditions and circumstances does not correspond to the picture typical for this type of poisoning.”

“(A) single biochemical determination of blood cholinesterase activity has a relative diagnostic value, particularly in the conditions, when it is known that the activity of blood cholinesterase varies noticeably in different people, as well as with various chronic illnesses (tuberculosis, cancer, hepatitis, and others).”

“(C)holinesterase inhibitors are not only organophosphorus toxic agents but are also common pharmaceuticals in medical practice: acridines, piperidines, and carbamates, widely used in neurology and psychiatry which any person may be taking for one reason or another.”

“(D)uring treatment at the intensive care unit, a patient may be administered a multitude of medicinal preparations, including those of this type.”

Chief Russian toxicologist Alexander Sabayev in Omsk where Navalny was treated stressed that cholinesterase inhibitors were not detected in his system.

Claims otherwise by German doctors in Berlin where Navalny is now hospitalized are dubious.

Russian doctors saved his life. On Russian television, Omsk’s hospital medical director Dr. Alexander Murakhovsky said the following:

“We have asked for lab reports (from Berlin’s Charite hospital) that indicated intoxication with cholinesterase inhibitors.”

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian doctors wish to share their data on Navalny with their German counterparts in return them responding reciprocally.

On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin called it “unacceptable to make hasty and groundless accusations (with) regard (to Navalny’s condition).”

He stressed the Kremlin’s “interest in a thorough and impartial investigation of all the circumstances” relating to what happened to him.

On Tuesday, Trump regime Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Foreign Ministers Sergey Ryabkov and Igor Morgulov.

Reportedly, the above Russian officials were told that Washington would impose tough (unilateral) sanctions on the Russian Federation if evidence shows Navalny was poisoned, actions that would make earlier ones “pale in comparison” — with no further elaboration.

On Wednesday, the Kremlin called it unacceptable for Navalny’s illness to affect Russia’s relations with the West, adding that it’s in the interest of all to determine what happened scientifically without politicizing the issue.

On Tuesday, Russian lower house State Duma Speaker Vyachaslav Volodin issued the following statement:

“The State Duma security committee will be instructed to analyze what happened in order to understand whether (what happened to Navalny) was an attempt on the part of foreign states to harm the health of a Russian citizen to fuel tensions inside Russia, as well as to formulate fresh accusations against our country.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said blaming the Kremlin for Navalny’s illness is “unfounded,” adding:

Allegations of “covering up the truth” by Western officials against Russian doctors who treated him in Omsk, saving his life, are “deeply offensive.”

“(W)ho benefits from” what happened to him — “Clearly not the Russian leadership.”

Omsk doctors “gave (Navalny’s) complete medical history to” their German counterparts.

“We hope (they) how the same professional approach and will not allow the results of their laboratory tests to be used for politicized purposes.”

By open letter, Omsk doctors who treated Navalny explained the following in response to unacceptable Western criticism they called politically motivated:

“People without medical education make diagnoses, talk about treatment and manipulate information.”

“At the same time, none of them witnessed (Navalny’s) condition.”

“(W)e see a phenomenon known as ‘political diagnosis’ which has nothing to do with medicine.”

“Lately it has become almost fashionable to criticize (Russian healthcare.”

“We are aware that sometimes negative comments are appropriate and constructive.”

“(S)ome people are more interested in the bathroom in the admission department, which is currently being renovated, rather than an objective assessment of the facts about the patient’s well-being.”

“And they were obtained thanks to the modern equipment that this medical center is equipped with.”

Western coverage of Navalny’s illness “got to the point that the Omsk doctors were compared with the heroes of Moliere’s comedies, for whom leeches and bloodletting were the main methods of treatment.”

“This is a vulgar insult to doctors who saved a patient’s life over almost two days in a very difficult psychological situation.”

“Within 16 minutes of receiving the signal from the plane, the ambulance arrived at the airport.”

“17 minutes after the patient was carried out on a stretcher, he was taken to the medical center of the emergency hospital in Omsk.”

“For 44 hours, doctors fought for his life. These are facts that cannot be denied.”

No evidence suggests Kremlin foul play.

As stated above, what possible benefit could Russian authorities gain from wanting Navalny, a minor irritant to the state, rendered seriously ill endangering his life?

Russian critics in the US and other Western countries alone benefit from what happened.

It begs the questions. Was his illness natural, what appears most likely unless proved otherwise?

Or were US dark forces behind what threatened his life as a pretext for enlisting Western support for greater toughness on Moscow?

Russia should investigate the incident thoroughly to learn precisely what happened — so facts are presented free from politicization.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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