Navalny's Team Claims He 'Could Die At Any Moment' As US Warns Russia Of "Consequences" National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has told CNN on Sunday that "We have communicated [to Russia] that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies." Alexei Navalny's name was conspicuously absent from President Biden's Thursday evening address describing the administration's ...
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National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has told CNN on Sunday that "We have communicated [to Russia] that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies."
Alexei Navalny's name was conspicuously absent from President Biden's Thursday evening address describing the administration's latest sanctions against Russia in response to a wide range of issues, mostly focused on the SolarWinds hack and election 'interference'.
It was days later, over the weekend, that Navalny's media team began claiming he's "dying" in prison. He has for weeks complained that prison doctors have "refused" to treat him for various urgent conditions, particularly a suspected trapped nerve in his back that's been giving him severe leg problems.
Following this there were fears he had tuberculosis and possibly COVID-19 - all which became a narrative pushed by his supporters that the Kremlin is "slowly killing him" while serving out a 2.5 year sentence at what's known as Penal Colony No. 2 east of Moscow. Prison authorities have denied the claims of maltreatment, saying repeatedly that his health is satisfactory and that he has not been denied treatment.
He's also now three weeks into a hunger strike in protest of the harsh confinement conditions. But given the likely disappointment that his plight has begun to fall out of Western media coverage, there was this latest over the weekend:
Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is three weeks into a hunger strike, protesting the lack of medical attention he has received while in prison. Now, his doctor fears his death is imminent.
Physician Yaroslav Ashikhmin said test results that Navalny's family shared with him reveal increased potassium levels, which could lead to cardiac arrest, as well as heightened creatinine levels from deteriorating kidneys.
"Our patient could die at any moment," Ashikhmin wrote, according to a translated version of his Facebook post on Saturday.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on why Biden isn't saying more publicly about Navalny: "We have judged that rather than just make general statements publicly, the best way to deal with this issue is privately and through diplomatic channels direct to the [Russian govt]." pic.twitter.com/55B72jigFJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 18, 2021
Jake Sullivan addressed the absence of Navalny's name among Biden's latest Russia sanctions remarks as follows:
Asked whether a POTUS-Putin summit would still take place if Navalny dies, Sullivan says he is not going to get into hypotheticals largely because there is no summit even on the books yet—but adds that it would have to take place in the right circumstances and at the right time.
So it looks like Navalny is indeed once again getting the White House's attention, given Sullivan's new threat of "consequences" against Russia if the anti-Putin activist who last August said he was poisoned with nerve agent.
His allegations against prison authorities and against Putin himself are likely to grow louder and to continue. Most recently he alleged in a statement shared on Instagram that amid his hunger strike prison guards are now threatening to force feed him.