Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on April 23, 2021, that he was halting his three-week hunger strike and thanked his supporters. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

International news

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny said on Friday that he is ending his weeks long hunger strike.

The announcement comes days after the Russian opposition leader was transferred to a prison hospital due to his deteriorating health, as reported by CNN.

"Thanks to the tremendous support of good people all over the country and all over the world, we have made tremendous progress," Navalny's Instagram post said, as per The Hill.

"Two months ago, they only laughed at my requests for medical help and wouldn't give me any medication or allow to pass them to me," the post continued. "A month ago, I was laughed in the face at phrases like, 'Can I find out my diagnosis?" and 'Can I see my own medical records?' Thank you -- now I've been examined twice by a panel of civilian doctors."

"I am not withdrawing the requirement to be visited by a doctor -- I have a loss of sensation in parts of my limbs, and I want to understand what it is and how to treat it -- but taking into account the progress [of the disease] and all the circumstances, I am starting to end the hunger strike. According to the rules, it will take 24 days, and they say it is even harder," Navalny stated further, as translated by Sputnik.

Navalny said on Thursday he feels "pride and hope" over a swarm of protests against his detention.

According to The Hill, Navalny in an Instagram post touted demonstrators as Russia's "salvation" as protests seeking to free the leader of the opposition movement to President Vladimir Putin escalate.

More than 1,900 people were arrested Wednesday in one of the largest roundups of protesters since demonstrations started against Navalny's detention earlier this year, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors protests and detentions.

According to Sputnik, Navalny went on a hunger strike on March 31 after being denied a visit by a doctor of his choice. The 44-year-old has been diagnosed with two spinal hernias but has refused the treatment offered by the prison authority.

On Monday, Navalny was transferred to a prison hospital, where he was given intravenous glucose infusion. Three days later, the Alliance of Doctors trade union (recognized as a foreign agent in Russia) said that Navalny was taken to a public hospital in the city of Vladimir on April 20.

The Putin critic was detained in January after he returned from Germany where he was recovering from being poisoned in August. The opposition leader has blamed Moscow for the incident, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

International concern over Navalny has grown as he wages a hunger strike in prison, with his doctor warning that he was nearing death. Authorities announced Monday that Navalny will be transferred to a hospital in another prison, three weeks after he started the hunger strike.

Source: ANI