A Russian court has barred a candidate promoted by the country’s opposition politician Alexei Navalny in the last video before his sudden illness from running for a seat on the city council in Novosibirsk, Siberia.
“We learned today that a court had barred our candidate (Daniil) Markelov from elections”, Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Monday.
Navalny is a fierce critic of president Vladimir Putin. He has endured multiple incarcerations in recent years, a barred attempt to run for president, and a hamstrung bid for the Moscow mayor’s post.
Navalny and his allies have been preparing for Russia’s regional elections scheduled for September 13. He filmed the video promoting Novosibirsk opposition candidates during his trip to Siberia, days before he collapsed on his flight back to Moscow.
Last month, he was rushed to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk, after drinking a cup of tea that his spokeswoman said she believed was laced with poison. German air ambulance landed in Omsk with the intention of flying Navalny to Germany for treatment, but the hospital’s head doctor said he was too unstable to move.
Navalny’s team complained authorities wanted to stall for time so that any trace of what poisoned him would disappear. After more than 24 hours of wrangling between German and Russian medics, Navalny left Russia on a flight bound for Germany.
Berlin’s Charite hospital said that “clinical evidence suggests an intoxication through a substance belonging to the group of cholinesterase inhibitors”. Doctors who treated Navalny in Russia said the substance was not present.
Navalny’s allies published the footage on Monday. “One of the most prosperous cities in the world could be here but a Russian panel ghetto grew instead. Our goal is to free the capital of Siberia from the occupiers”, Navalny said in the video, referring to concrete panels used in Russia since the Soviet era for building multi-storey apartment blocks.
On Monday, a Moscow court seized $460,000 from Navalny’s ally, Lyubov Sobol, who is a lawyer for the shuttered Anti-Corruption Foundation set up by Navalny. Kremlin-linked Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin last week said he intends to collect a $1.2 million debt from Navalny and his foundation if he survives.