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

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said Tuesday that Russia must conduct an "immediate, comprehensive, and transparent investigation" on the apparent poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later issued a statement saying he is "deeply concerned" and supports calls for a "comprehensive investigation."

Why it matters: Sullivan's statement was the first from a top American official demanding that Russia take action since Navalny was first admitted to a hospital last week.

  • Navalny became seriously ill shortly after boarding a flight last Thursday to Moscow from Siberia, where he met with opposition politicians.
  • After authorities initially refused to allow him to travel abroad for treatment, Navalny was flown to Germany.

What he's saying: "German medical experts now say clinical findings indicate that Russian opposition activist [Alexei] Navalny was poisoned in Russia last week," Sullivan said in a statement tweeted by embassy spokesperson Rebecca Ross.

  • "This new information on Navalny necessitates an immediate, comprehensive, and transparent investigation by the Russian authorities that holds the parties behind this act responsible."

Go deeper

Hans Nichols, author of Sneak Peek
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.

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.