The Russian critic Navalny announced on Friday he was ending his hunger strike. He had gone 23 days.
His doctors had been warning that he could die soon.
He said he also heard that other people started fasting in support of him, and that made him cry.
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The Russian critic Alexei Navalny has announced that he is ending his weekslong hunger strike.
“I am starting the exit from hunger strike,” he said in a Friday Instagram post.
He said his doctors told him that his hunger strike had gone on for so long there would soon be nothing left for them to treat.
He also said he was ending his strike because he had heard that some of his supporters also started a hunger strike, and that made him cry.
“I do not want anyone to experience physical suffering because of me,” he wrote.
Navalny started his hunger strike on March 31 in protest over his medical conditions in jail. His doctors have repeatedly said that they were denied access to him.
Earlier this month his doctors warned that he could “die any minute” because he had become so weak, and his lawyer said he had lost sensitivity in his leg and hands. On Thursday, he said he looked like a “skeleton walking, swaying, in its cell.”
Navalny also said Russian prison guards were trying to end his hunger strike by slipping candy in his pockets sand frying chicken in front of him.
On Monday Russia’s prison service claimed that Navalny’s health was “satisfactory” and the Kremlin dismissed concerns about his health.
Navalny is currently serving a 2 1/2 year sentence in a Russian prison for skipping parole meetings. His lawyer said he had missed the meetings because he was in Berlin, Germany, undergoing treatment for nerve-agent poisoning. Navalny has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering the hit on his life.
US and EU leaders have expressed concern over Navalny’s health, with the US national security advisor warning of “consequences if Mr. Navalny dies.”
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