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Tags Current Affairs

Aleksei Navalny poisoning case

Date: 22 August 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, was put on ventilator support in a Siberian hospital after he consumed a cup of tea that is suspected to be poisoned.

 

Background

Last year, Navalny who is a vocal critic of president Vladimir Putin was hospitalised after he suffered an allergic reaction in jail, possibly from an unknown chemical substance.

 

Details

  • Navalny, who is a lawyer-turned-activist came to prominence in 2008 after he started exposing corruption in Russian politics through a blog and in 2018, he was barred from standing against Putin in the presidential elections.

  • He has also been arrested on multiple occasions and since he started political campaigning, Navalny has spearheaded many anti-corruption rallies in Russia and is considered to be the face of the opposition in Russia, a country that has long been known to eliminate dissidents and spies by poisoning them.

  • Former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in the British city Salisbury after they were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent Novichok.

  • After the poisoning, all Russian intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover in the UK and many other countries were expelled.

  • An anti-Kremlin activist and Putin critic who is a member of the Russian protest group called Pussy Riot was taken ill after a poisoning attempt that Verzilov alleged was carried out by Russian intelligence services. 

  • In 2017, Putin critic and journalist Kara-Murza fell into a coma after a suspected poisoning attempt. A French lab found elevated levels of heavy metals in his blood.

  • Former spy Litvinenko, who was being paid by the MI6 and was investigating Spanish links to Russia, was killed in November 2006 after he ingested a fatal dose of polonium 210.

  • In 2004, Yushchenko was poisoned in the midst of an election campaign, in which he was expected to defeat the Russia-backed candidate.

  • Russia has long been known to use poison as a way of eliminating political dissidents and spies. They serve as useful symbols of what happens to anyone accused of betraying or otherwise cheating the Kremlin.

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