Berlin Hospital Declares Russian Opposition Leader was Poisoned

Medical tests from a Berlin hospital indicates that Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was poisoned from a group of active substance called cholinesterase inhibitors. Some of these cholinesterase inhibitors are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease while others are used in insecticides and chemical warfare nerve agents. According to Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, the leader fell sick from suspected poisoning on a flight from Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow last week. He was rushed to Berlin’s Charite Hospital, where a team of doctors said that Navalny was in a critical but stable condition. He is being treated with the antidote atropine but the results are still uncertain at this time.

CNN: Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned, Berlin hospital says

Screenshot from CNN

According to CNN correspondents, Berlin’s Charite Hospital noted that Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny was suffering from “intoxication by a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors.”

It added that Navalny, who was transferred to the German capital from the Siberian city of Omsk on Saturday morning, is in an artificial coma in an intensive care unit. “His state of health is serious, but there is currently no acute danger to his life,” the hospital said in a statement Monday.

The specific substance used to poison Navalny has not yet been identified, according to the hospital.

Cholinesterase inhibitors are widely used as dementia medications. They are also found in pesticides and chemical warfare nerve agents, including sarin and Novichok, which was used in a 2018 attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. They can slow the heart rate and are toxic to the brain.

NPR.Org: Navalny Was Poisoned, But His Life Isn’t in Danger, German Hospital Says

Screenshot from NPR.Org

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons disclosed the effects of poisoning to NPR.Org, which includes “sweating, salivation, miosis (pinpoint pupils), paralysis, respiratory failure, seizures and eventually death.”

The common examples of the nerve agents found in the cholinesterase inhibitors include Sarin, Soman, and VX — the chemical that is believed to have killed the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in 2017.

NPR.Org further states that this is the second time Navalny has been the victim of an apparent poisoning. The first instance came last summer, when he was hospitalized days after being jailed for calling for street protests.