Imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Friday he is ending his hunger strike after getting medical attention and being warned by his doctors that continuing it would put his life at risk. “Thanks to the huge support of good people across the country and around the world, we have made huge progress,” Navalny said in a Instagram post. “Two months ago, my requests for medical help were prompting smirks. I wasn’t given any medications. … Thanks to you, now I have been examined by a panel of civilian doctors twice.” Navalny’s doctors said Saturday that they feared he was close to dying because his test results showed sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicated impaired kidneys. He was taken to a regular hospital Tuesday in Vladimir, where he underwent tests and was examined by specialists “in accordance” with requests from his doctors.
Navalny was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied having a role in Navalny’s poisoning. Russian authorities had previously said that they offered Navalny proper medical care but that he continued to refuse it.