Alexei Navalny Doctors Urge Him to End Hunger Strike: 'We'll Soon Have No One to Treat'

The personal doctors of Alexei Navalny have urged the Russian opposition politician to end his hunger strike which is now in its fourth week.

There is growing alarm at the deteriorating health of the critic of President Vladimir Putin, as he languishes in a prison colony in the Vladimir region.

Already weakened by a Novichok nerve agent poisoning which the Kremlin denies responsibility for, doctors pleaded with Navalny to end the hunger strike he started on March 31 in protest at inadequate medical treatment.

The letter published on the Media Zona website outlines the medical risks that Navalny is taking if he continues to forgo food, which include kidney failure, severe neurological disorders and falling into a coma.

His actions "can cause significant harm to the health of Alexei Navalny and can lead to the saddest outcome—death."

Alexei Navalny supporters
Activists support jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny at Manezhnaya Square in front of Moscow's Kremlin on April 21, 2021 in Moscow, Russia. There are fears for his life as he undertakes a hunger strike. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

"We understand that if the hunger strike continues even for a minimal time, unfortunately, we'll soon have no one to treat," the medics added.

The letter follows protests on Wednesday which took place across the country calling for the opposition leader's release in which anger was directed at Putin and the Kremlin.

Former U.S. ambassador to Moscow dismissed as "complete nonsense" claims Navalny was being manipulated by Washington and the West to agitate against the Russian authorities.

In an interview conducted in Russian with the Kremlin-critical radio station Echo of Moscow, McFaul was asked by the station's editor-in-chief, Alexey Venediktov about his views on claims that Navalny was "an agent of influence of the Western powers and the United States." The Kremlin has previously accused Navalny of working for the CIA.

"Maybe you are manipulating him?" Venediktov said, referring to the Kremlin and Putin's portrayal of Navalny as a tool serving the interests of western countries.

But McFaul, who was U.S. ambassador to Moscow between 2012 and 2014 under former President Barack Obama, rejected the claims.

He told the station that Navalny, "does not receive any financial support from the West, from Biden, from the CIA. This is complete nonsense."

Describing those who work for the Russian security services, the FSB and SVR, as "very talented" McFaul said that if there were any evidence of Navalny serving western interests, "do you not think the FSB would have published it?"

He also said that Navalny is considered by many to be "a difficult person" and that many think that he is "a nationalist" or a "social democrat."

"There are many who criticize him in the West—including America. And therefore, to say that he is ours and everyone loves him, is not true," he added.

France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian added to international pressure on Russia by threatening to impose measures against the Kremlin should the worst befall its biggest critic.

However, days after the U.S. imposed sanctions against Moscow, for the SolarWinds hack of U.S. government agencies and election interference, which the Kremlin denies responsibility for, Putin was bullish in his annual state-of-the-nation address on Wednesday.

He warned the international community, "I hope that no one will think of crossing the 'red line' in relation to Russia."

Meanwhile, Navalny praised his supporters who protested across dozens of cities in Russia on Wednesday, writing in an Instagram post: "Two feelings are raging inside me: pride and hope."