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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.

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.