_This is a developing story, which is continuously updated. _
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in intensive care after apparently being poisoned, his press secretary said on Twitter on Thursday.
Navalny was on a flight from Siberia to Moscow when the plane had to make an emergency landing to the sudden deterioration of his health, his spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh tweeted. “Alexei has been poisoned, intoxicated,” and “is now in intensive care.”
Yarmysh said they suspect a substance was mixed into his tea since it was the only thing he drank that morning. She adds, “doctors say the toxin was absorbed faster through the hot liquid.”
According to her statement, Navalny is still unconscious and hooked to a ventilator.
State news agency Tass confirmed that Navalny was admitted to the intensive care unit of the toxicology department in the emergency department of Omsk hospital in Siberia.
The politician is in grave condition, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported, citing the chief doctor at the hospital.
Navalny is a major opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The 44-year-old lawyer, whose anti-corruption publications are widely shared on social networks, has already suffered from physical attacks in the past. In particular, he was sprayed in the eyes with a disinfectant when leaving his office in 2017.
Navalny, his supporters and their families are regularly subjected to arrests, searches and police pressure throughout Russia.