Jailed Russian opposition leader Navalny says he will end hunger strike

Imprisoned Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Friday that he would end his week-long hunger strike.

Navalny said in an Instagram post that he would end the strike he started on March 31 to demand adequate medical care.

The news comes days after protests across Russia calling for his release when his team said it feared his life was in danger.

“Thanks to the great support of good people across the country and around the world, we have made great strides,” Navalny said on Instagram on Friday, the 24th day of his hunger strike.

He said he would continue to request a visit from his doctor to correct a loss of sensation in his legs and arms, but he will stop refusing food after being examined by doctors outside of prison.

Navalny’s allies said over the weekend his life was hanging by a thread and a medical union with ties to prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was in critical condition. It cited medical tests that showed his kidneys could soon fail, which could lead to cardiac arrest.

The 44-year-old’s fate is adding to the already heavy strains on Russia’s relations with the West.

President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday the government had told Russia “there will be consequences” if Navalny dies in prison.

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