September 4, 2020

Sports Alexei Navalny: Two hours that saved Russian opposition leader’s life


By BBC Russian



Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a coma in a Berlin clinical institution, and Germany has revealed he became poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent.

He became taken ill on board a return flight from Siberia to Moscow and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk. Two days later Russian officers appreciate been persuaded to let him be airlifted to Germany.

BBC Russian has pieced together the memoir of how flight attendants and medics fought to construct his life over the skies of Siberia. Right here is the dramatic two-hour timeline of that hazardous drag.

Sports How the morning unfolded

It became 20 August, and Alexei Navalny became taking an S7 airlines flight from Tomsk to Moscow. He did no longer exhaust or drink anything all morning – except for a cup of tea he supplied at Tomsk Bogashevo airport, per his press secretary Kira Yarmysh.

describe copyrightIlya Ageev

describe captionIlya Ageev took a photograph of a smiling Alexei Navalny at Tomsk airport

Any other passenger on the flight, Ilya Ageev, seen Mr Navalny intriguing the tea about an hour sooner than the plane became because of take off. The Kremlin critic became smiling and joking with fellow passengers who recognised him.

At some level of the first half hour of the flight, Mr Navalny started to truly feel ill. Flight attendants appreciate been handing water out to passengers, but he turned it down. He then bought up to head to the lavatory.

Any other passenger tried to exhaust the lavatory on the identical time, but Alexei Navalny became internal for about 20 minutes. A queue started to compose outdoor the door.

By now all four flight attendants on board appreciate been aware no doubt one of their passengers became ill.

Minutes later, a flight attendant made an announcement asking if any docs appreciate been on board. The other passengers now realised the draw back became serious.

The rest of the cabin crew knowledgeable the pilot and tried to tackle first help to Mr Navalny.

His assistant, Ilya Pakhomov, walked down the aisle appealing for clinical assistance. A girl, who hasn’t been known, came forward to remark she became a nurse.

For the next hour she and the flight attendants thinking retaining Mr Navalny conscious except the pilot could well well presumably procure an emergency landing, per S7 airlines.

Sports ‘He wasn’t speaking – he became exact screaming’

Sergey Nezhenets, a prison legitimate, became sitting in the succor row shut to where Mr Navalny became being handled. He became because of switch in Moscow sooner than flying on to Krasnodar in southern Russia.

“I started being attentive to what became occurring when a flight attendant asked for clinical mavens on board to come forward,” Mr Nezhenets instructed the BBC.

“A pair of minutes later, the pilot announced we could well well per chance be landing in Omsk, which ability that of a passenger became ill. I very top realised the passenger in demand became Navalny after we landed, when I checked Twitter and seen his spokeswoman’s posts.

“A pair of minutes after the call-out for a physician, Alexei started moaning and screaming. He became clearly in be troubled. He became lying on the bottom in the a part of the plane reserved for cabin crew. He wasn’t announcing any phrases – he became exact screaming.”

describe copyrightIlya Ageev

That became when a nurse went forward to offer clinical assistance, he explains.

“I originate no longer know what they appreciate been doing, I did no longer glimpse,” he says. “But I heard them lift on announcing ‘Alexei, drink, drink, Alexei, breathe!’

“When he became moaning, the rest of us felt better, in a single device which ability that of shall we recount he became no longer much less than peaceful alive. I stress, at that level I did no longer are aware about it became Navalny.”

Two of Mr Navalny’s assistants appreciate been standing nearby; one became his press secretary Kira Yarmysh.

“She became very apprehensive,” Mr Nezhenets says. “The medic asked her what had took space to him, and Kira said: ‘I originate no longer know, he became potentially poisoned’.”

The crew moved like a flash to demand permission for an emergency landing at Omsk, the airline says, and it became given directly.

It took slight more than 30 minutes for the plane to land after passengers appreciate been instructed there could well well presumably be an emergency landing.

However the cabin crew “saved checking the dwelling windows and complaining that, which ability that of it became so cloudy, it became taking longer to land while Alexei became so ill.”

The prison legitimate heard retching noises as they advised him to drink.

Sports Became his abdominal pumped?

Omsk airport’s chief physician, Vasily Sidorus, has refused to verify or announce this. All he would advise became “There became every thing.”

describe copyrightIlya Ageev

Had they suspected food poisoning, the crew could well well presumably additionally simply appreciate tried to, says Israeli intensive care knowledgeable Mikhail Fremderman. “But that wouldn’t appreciate helped in a case of poisoning with organophosphorus compounds, which is what the Germans are now speaking about.”

And if Mr Navalny’s food or drink had been poisoned, throwing him would appreciate posed a risk to those providing him clinical assistance, besides to those cleaning up the plane later.

At 09: 01 Omsk time, the plane landed.

Medical workers on the airport boarded the plane exact two minutes after landing.

As soon as they’d examined Mr Navalny, the medics said “right here is no longer a case for us – he needs intensive care”, Mr Nezhenets remembers.

He then heard no doubt one of the most clinical workers phoning for an ICU ambulance. They asked for it to force straight on to the landing condo, announcing that the affected person became in a serious situation.

He then heard a medic explaining over the phone what shade the plane became and telling the motive force to park shut to the steps.

“We waited for yet any other 10 minutes for the ambulance to realize,” he says. “At some level of this time, the docs took Navalny’s blood strain and gave him an intravenous drip – but I mediate it became obvious to them that it became of no exhaust.”

describe copyrightSibir.Realii

Dr Sidorus says he did no longer care for Alexei Navalny in my view, but that his colleagues did their ideal to construct his life.

“It became laborious to attract shut what became occurring, as he could well well presumably no longer focus on,” he says. “They did every thing they’d to lift out, saved a particular person’s life and made sure he became transferred to a appropriate clinical institution.”

Passengers we spoke to imagine the medics spent about 15 to 20 minutes inspecting Mr Navalny on board the plane.

He became then taken off the plane and his stretcher loaded into an ambulance, which straight to Omsk Emergency Medical institution #1.

The plane became re-fuelled and, after yet any other half an hour, persevered its drag to Moscow, Mr Nezhenets instructed the BBC.

“When we landed at Moscow Domodedovo airport, quite a bit of policemen and shocking-clothed men entered the plane.

“They asked passengers seated in the rows closest to where Alexei had been sitting to save, while the rest appreciate been free to head. Alexei had been sitting someplace in the centre of the plane, row 10 or 11.”

It seemed odd to appreciate police come on board. “At that level, the case did no longer see felony. And yet, right here became the safety service.”

Sports ‘Poisoned with Novichok’

For 2 days, the clinical institution in Omsk saved Mr Navalny in its acute poisoning department. Initially they wouldn’t enable him to be flown to Germany, citing his unstable situation.

On the choice hand, on 22 August, he became airlifted to the Charité sanatorium in Berlin and two days later German docs said their assessments confirmed he had been poisoned.

Doctors in Omsk, together with the chief physician of the Emergency Medical institution #1 and the chief toxicologist, insisted that no toxic substances had been detected in Mr Navalny’s body when he became beneath their care. They said a metabolic disorder became one doubtless, alternative prognosis.

BBC Russian has asked Omsk well being authorities for a comment and a detailed tale of Navalny’s clinical institution save, but has no longer bought a reply.

Reporting by Anna Pushkarskaya, Elena Berdnikova, Timur Sazonov, Andrei Soshnikov and Ksenia Churmanova.

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