Wednesday, December 1

Russian doctor who treated Navalny after he died of poisoning

Sergey Maximishin, who was the deputy chief physician of the Omsk Emergency Hospital, died “suddenly” at the age of 55, according to a statement released by the hospital.

“With regret, we inform you that … deputy chief physician of anesthesiology and resuscitation of emergency hospital №1, department assistant of Omsk State Medical University, PhD in medical sciences Maximishin Sergey Valentinovich passed away suddenly,” the hospital said in a statement, it did not mention a cause of death.

Police patrol an area as journalists gather at the Omsk No. 1 Ambulance Hospital, the intensive care unit where Alexei Navalny was hospitalized in Omsk, Russia (Photo: August 21, 2020)
Police patrol an area as journalists gather at the Omsk No. 1 Ambulance Hospital, the intensive care unit where Alexei Navalny was hospitalized in Omsk, Russia (Photo: August 21, 2020) (AP)

A spokeswoman for the Omsk regional health ministry told CNN on Friday that according to “preliminary data”, Maximishin had died as a result of a heart attack. He did not provide further details.

Navalny was initially admitted to the acute intoxication unit of Omsk Emergency Hospital No. 1 on August 20, after falling ill from exposure to military-grade Novichok on a plane heading from Siberia to Moscow. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk.

Maximishin did not give a press conference at the time of Navalny’s hospitalization. As the deputy chief physician of the hospital for anesthesiology and resuscitation, he was one of the hospital’s senior physicians.

Navalny was put into a medically induced coma and eventually evacuated to the German capital of Berlin, where he spent five months recovering from poisoning. After returning to Russia, he was arrested and was sentenced to prison this week for violating the probation terms of a previous sentence. The verdict prompted swift conviction abroad, including the United States.
In this photograph provided by the Moscow Municipal Court, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands in the cage during a hearing at the Moscow Municipal Court. (AP)
Navalny blames his poisoning on Russian security services and President Vladimir Putin himself, accusations the Kremlin has repeatedly denied. A CNN-Bellingcat investigation in December implicated the Russian Security Service (FSB) in the attack. Navalny also tricked one of the agents into revealing that he was poisoned with the nerve agent. Novichok applied to your underwear.

Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, confirmed that Maximishin was in charge of dealing with the opposition leader. “Sergey Maximishin was the head of the department that treated Alexei Navalny and was in charge of his treatment, specifically his medically induced coma,” Volkov told CNN.

“(Maximishin) knew more than anyone about Alexei’s condition, so I cannot rule out the possibility of foul play,” he added.

“However, Russia’s health system is very poor and it is not uncommon for doctors of his age to die suddenly. I doubt there is any investigation into his death,” Volkov continued.

Alexei Navalny in a hospital in Germany. (Instagram)

CNN is seeking additional comment from local health authorities on the cause of Maximishin’s death. The deaths of front-line Russian medical workers, including whistleblowers, became a politically charged issue in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic. CNN has no evidence of foul play.

The Omsk region health minister said in a statement that Maximishin had worked at the hospital for 28 years and saved thousands of lives.

“He brought people back to reality. We will miss Dr. Maximishin very much. He left too early and because of this, the pain of the loss is especially bitter,” Alexander Murakhovsky said in a statement.

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