Navalny More or Less Recovered from Hunger Strike

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has “more or less” recovered from his hunger strike. He now weighs 82 kilos and normally eats, the head of the Russian prison service said according to news agency TASS.


Navalny is currently serving a 2.5-year sentence in a penal colony. According to authorities, he violated the conditions of a suspended sentence and therefore had to be detained. The opposition leader and his supporters say the charges are politically motivated. Navalny is known as an outspoken critic of the Kremlin.

The detention of Navalny is causing unrest in Russia. He went on a hunger strike at the end of March to demand better medical care for his back and leg complaints. Supporters were deeply concerned about his deteriorating health and took to the streets. The opposition leader ended his action in late April after being treated in a hospital.

Navalny allies say he weighed 93 pounds at the start of his jail term. He has lost a lot of weight during the hunger strike and weighed only 76 kilos in mid-April. The politician looked thin when he appeared in court via video link late last month. That was his last public appearance.

While Navalny is behind bars, authorities are also arresting his employees. Next month, a judge must decide whether the opposition leader’s network of political offices and anti-corruption foundation can be listed as “terrorist and extremist” organizations.

Russia’s parliament this week discussed legislation aimed at banning members of “extremist organizations” from politics. Under the draft law, they are not allowed to become parliamentarians. Navalny ally activist Lyubov Sobol spoke of an “unconstitutional attempt” to prevent her from running in parliamentary elections in September.

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