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Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a hospital in another penal colony, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

  • "We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community," White House national security Jake Sullivan said on CNN Sunday.
  • Navalny's supporters have called for large-scale protests on April 21, the same day that President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to deliver an annual state of the nation address to the national legislature.

What they're saying: Navalny's team tweeted from his account [translated], "News of "transfer of Navalny to the hospital" - for high-profile headlines. It is transferred simply to another colony (IK-3 of the strict regime), which has a hospital specializing in patients with tuberculosis. Alexei is in the colony. Doctors are still not allowed to visit him."

The big picture: Navalny, often described as "the man Putin fears most," was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for violating his parole by receiving medical treatment in Germany, where he was recovering for months after an attempted poisoning.

  • U.S. intelligence has determined that Russian security services carried out the attempted assassination, an allegation that Putin has denied.
  • The 44-year-old Navalny went on a hunger strike on March 31 in protest of prison authorities allegedly denying him medical treatment for pain and numbness in his back and leg.

The state of play: Russia's prison service said Navalny would be transferred to a hospital for convicts 110 miles east of Moscow, according to AP. His condition was described as “satisfactory,” and he has agreed to take vitamin supplements, according to authorities.

Go deeper

Apr 18, 2021 - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."

Updated Apr 18, 2021 - World

Alexei Navalny's death "a matter of days," spokesperson says

Alexei Navalny. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny faces possible kidney failure as he continues his multi-week hunger strike, a medical trade union told Reuters on Saturday.

What they're saying: "His condition is indeed critical ... His potassium is high and he has other high readings which indicate that his kidneys may soon fail. This would lead to severe pathology and cardiac arrest may occur," Alexandra Zakharova, a representative for the Doctors Alliance trade union, told Reuters.

Apr 17, 2021 - World

Ukraine, Russia to expel diplomats amid heightened tensions

A Ukrainian flag outside the Ukrainian Consulate General building in St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images

Russia on Saturday said it would expel a Ukrainian diplomat it accused of trying to obtain classified information, prompting Ukraine to say it would do the same to a Russian diplomat, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The tit-for-tat expulsions come amid heightened tensions between the two countries over Russia's build-up of military personnel and equipment on Ukraine's eastern border where Ukrainian soldiers are fighting Kremlin-back separatist troops.