Biological materials from Navalny were tested at the Sklifosovsky Institute, Moscow’s top emergency medical center, which has “a specialized laboratory with the widest capabilities in detecting foreign substances in the human system,” according to its chief doctor Aleksey Tokarev.
“As a result of the research, no substances capable of causing poisoning have been discovered,” he said.
Navalny was taken to the hospital from a detention facility early Sunday after developing a rash and swelling on his face. He was diagnosed with an “allergic reaction,” but his lawyer insisted that it was “poisoning by an unknown chemical substance.”
Fellow activist and professional ophthalmologist Anastasia Vasilyeva, who treated Navalny after he was attacked with green dye in his eyes in 2017, added fuel to the fire by saying that she “cannot exclude a toxic injury of the skin by an unknown chemical substance administered by a ‘third person.’” However, she did not examine the patient and came to that conclusion after only seeing him “through the door” at the hospital.
Navalny’s condition rapidly improved following treatment, and he was discharged from the hospital and returned to the detention facility on Monday.
The opposition blogger said that he has never suffered from allergies before, but did not support claims that he might have been poisoned by someone in the detention facility staff. “They were shocked by my looks and the whole situation even more than I was,” Navalny told Kommersant.
However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of an unauthorized person making their way to his cell, and demanded that the facility’s CCTV cameras be examined. Navalny was jailed for 30 days last week for calling on his supporters to attend an unsanctioned rally in the capital. It was not his first offense of that kind.
The protest took place on Saturday and was marred by clashes, with police arresting over 1,000 people. The opposition figure felt sick the next day.
The 43-year-old activist is no stranger to short term detentions, as his opposition activities often cross the boundaries of Russian law. Navalny made a name for himself with reports exposing alleged corruption of government officials and state-run companies. He ran for mayor of Moscow in 2013 and came in second with 27.2 percent of the vote.
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