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Opposition activist Alexei Navalny talks to the media after being released following 30 days of detention in July 2019. Photo: Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS via Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in the intensive care unit of a Siberian hospital after being left unconscious from a poisonous toxin believed to have been mixed in his tea, his press secretary, Kira Yarmash, tweeted Thursday.

Why it matters: The anti-corruption lawyer is the face of Russia's domestic opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His activism has led to him being targeted by authorities in raids and jailed dozens of times. Navalny was hospitalized in 2019 after his doctor said he was poisoned with "undefined chemical substances."

Details: Yarmash said Navalny felt ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow and the plane made an emergency landing in the city of Omsk, where he was taken to hospital, per a Twitter translation.

  • "We assume that Alexei was poisoned with something mixed into the tea," her statement said. "It was the only thing that he drank in the morning. Doctors say the toxin was absorbed faster through the hot liquid. Alexey is now unconscious."
  • An Omsk Emergency Hospital spokesperson described the 44-year-old's condition to Russian news agency Tass as "serious."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.