Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Mocks Kremlin After Potential Poisoning: 'The People in Power in Russia are Really Quite Stupid Guys'

Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has remained bullish despite suspicions he may have been poisoned while in prison, mocking President Vladimir Putin's government on social media as he recovers.

Navalny has now been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for symptoms of an acute allergic reaction. The activist was rushed to hospital on Sunday with "severe swelling of the face and skin redness," which his lawyer and his personal doctor have said could be a result of poisoning.

Navalny, 43, said he has never suffered any allergic reaction before. He described how he "woke up with a hot and prickly face, ears and neck."

The Moscow hospital that treated him said it could not disclose what its staff suspected of being the cause of the allergic attack, citing patient confidentiality, The Moscow Times reported.

One doctor on the treatment team, Elena Sibikina, said any allegations of poisoning had "not been proven" and stressed that Navalny's life was not in danger.

But the opposition leader and his team took a different view. In a blog shared on social media, Navalny asked: "Are they really such idiots to poison you in a place where suspicions point only at them?"

"It's a good question," he added. "For now I can say one thing with certainty: the people in power in Russia are really quite stupid guys. It seems to you that in their actions you need to look for secret meaning or a rational purpose. But in fact they are just stupid, malicious and obsessed with money."

The Kremlin is yet to comment on Navalny's hospitalization and has not responded to allegations that the prominent Putin critic was poisoned.

He posted a photo of himself alongside the blog, showing his swollen face which has left him unable to open either eye. Navalny said his eyes had swollen to the size of ping pong balls.

Navalny's lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, was more explicit in her description of the incident. "He was really poisoned by some unknown chemical substance...But what the substance was has not been established."

His personal doctor, Anastasia Vasilyeva, concurred, and said she had taken samples from his hair and t-shirt to be analyzed at an independent laboratory.

Vasilyeva also called for examination of CCTV footage which would have captured activity in and around his cell.

In his blog post, Navalny said he had been diagnosed with "contact dermatitis" while in hospital. He also noted that "weird stuff" was happening around him while he was being treated, Deutsche Welle reported.

"Police at the door of my room. They are not letting my doctors get in, my lawyer is not allowed in," he explained. "In other words, they are acting like they have to hide something just in case."

Navalny is currently serving a 30-day prison term for encouraging people to attend a rally in Moscow protesting the government's decision to ban opposition candidates from running in Moscow elections later this year.

Navalny has been targeted before for his vocal anti-government activism. In 2017 he suffered chemical burns to his right eye when an unidentified attacker threw antiseptic green dye—a weapon of choice for those attacking government critics in Russia—in his face in Moscow. Navalny said he lost 80 percent of his vision in the affected eye, but doctors were able to restore his sight.

Alexei Navalny, poison, Putin, Russia, mocks
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a hearing at a court in Moscow, Russia on June 24, 2019. VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Mocks Kremlin After Potential Poisoning: 'The People in Power in Russia are Really Quite Stupid Guys' | News