Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most outspoken President Vladimir Putin, said on Friday he would end a 24-day hunger strike after being allowed to see ordinary doctors and his supporters staged a protest to help him.
In a letter sent by his group to Instagram on Friday, the arrested opposition leader said he had “made great progress” since he first complained of back and nerve pain two months ago – although prison officials did not give his consent to allow him to see a doctor .
Navalny’s hunger strike, which his accomplice said was over “Hanging With a Bread”, was an undisputed statement on Russian-US politics, which promised “results” in Moscow if he died in prison.
His doctors had warned him that he would die within a few days because of the high levels of organisms that can cause kidney failure, as well as the dangerous potassium that can cause a human heart “at any moment”.
Many Westerners from Nobel laureate JM Coetzee to Star Wars boss JJ Abrams signed a letter to Putin demanding his release, while police arrested about 2,000 protesters in nearly 100 cities in Russia on Wednesday.
In recent days, however, the Kremlin has seemed keen to address the crisis once it is over building a war on the border of Ukraine, dramatically affected police protests in Moscow, and let Navalny see doctors on two plates behind him.
Navalny said refusing to go to jail for doing anything else but ibuprofen and his thought waking him up every hour every night was “torture”.
“Two months ago he mocked me and asked for medical attention, did not give me medicine and did not allow me to be sent. Last month he laughed at me in front of me when I said things like ‘Can I know what I’m finding? and ‘Can I view my medical records?’ Navalny wrote.
Navalny had said he would continue to strike until he could see his beloved doctors, who repeatedly asked him to be released from prison outside Moscow without success. But since he began to go on hunger strike, Navalny said he was assisted by two ordinary doctors, shortly “before the protests” by his supporters. He also said that a number of people have gone on strike together.
“Doctors I fully trust wrote yesterday that you and I have done enough to end the strike,” he wrote.