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Alexei Navalny. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny was discharged from the hospital and sent back to jail Monday, despite suspicions raised by his personal doctor that he was poisoned with "undefined chemical substances" — not suffering from an allergic reaction, as had previously been reported.

Why it matters: Navalny is an anti-corruption lawyer whose fierce opposition to Vladimir Putin has caused him to be arrested and jailed by Russian authorities a number of times. Navalny's spokesperson says he has never had an allergic reaction in his life, raising questions about whether his illness could in fact be the product of political retaliation. Putin has been accused of poisoning or having political opponents assassinated in the past.

  • Police reportedly did not want Navalny to be transported to the hospital and relented only when the ambulance crew threatened to make a scene, according to Navalny's spokesperson.
  • About 20 journalists who showed up at the hospital where Navalny is being treated have been detained by police, according to Russian media.
  • Details about his current condition are unknown, according to the AP. Navalny's doctor says he was discharged and sent back to jail before necessary medical tests were conducted.

Of note: The "allergic reaction" is not Navalny's first physical ailment resulting from his advocacy. In 2017, a chemical attack on his face caused him to lose 80% of his vision in one eye, per his website.

Go deeper: Russian police arrest more than 1,300 protesters at Moscow rally

Go deeper

Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The U.S. Omicron wave may be peaking, but now COVID deaths are climbing as cases continue to soar in most of the country.

The big picture: Omicron’s stranglehold in the U.S. started about a month ago. Its death toll — while almost certain to be smaller than previous waves of the pandemic — is only now starting to take hold, and deaths will likely continue to rise for several weeks.

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

Reports: CIA finds "Havana Syndrome" unlikely caused by foreign campaign

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill last April. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

A preliminary CIA report rules out a foreign global campaign as the cause of a mysterious illness known as "Havana syndrome" that's afflicted American and Canadian diplomats around the world, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Some lawmakers had suggested the sometimes debilitating illness was due to directed energy attacks. But CIA officials told the New York Times that most of the 1,000 cases reported to the government could be "explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress." This finding has angered some victims, per the NYT.