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Russian Opposition Activist Alexei Navalny is in Ventilator after Allegedly Poisoned in Tea

The Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny is unconscious in hospital after allegedly being poisoned with a toxic substance in his tea, according to his press secretary Kira Yarmish.

A doctor at the hospital said that Navalny was in a “serious condition” but did not specify the cause. The opposition activist is currently on a ventilator.

Kira Yarmysh, the press secretary for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which Mr Navalny founded in 2011, tweeted: "This morning Navalny was returning to Moscow from Tomsk.

"During the flight, he felt ill. The plane made an urgent landing in Omsk. Alexei has toxic poisoning."

She added: "We suspect that Alexei was poisoned by something mixed into [his] tea. It was the only thing he drank since morning.

"Doctors are saying that the toxic agent absorbed faster through the hot liquid. Right now Alexei is unconscious."

“At the beginning of the flight he went to the toilet and didn’t come back,” Pavel Lebedev, a passenger on the flight, wrote on Instagram. “He started feeling very poorly. They could barely revive him and he’s still crying out in pain,” added Lebedev, who also published a photo of Navalny drinking tea at the airport cafe before the flight.

Mr Navalny, 44, is a staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin.

In June he described a vote on constitutional reforms as a "coup" and a "violation of the constitution". The reforms allow Mr Putin to serve another two terms in office.

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