The head of the trauma and orthopedics department at the Russian hospital where opposition politician Aleksei Navalny was treated for poisoning last summer has died, according to a Russian newspaper.
Rustam Agishev, 63, died of a stroke, Taiga.info reported on March 28. Agishev worked at Omsk emergency hospital No. 1 for 30 years.
The chief physician of the hospital, Yevgeny Osipov, said his death was “an irreplaceable loss for the entire medical community.”
Agishev will always remain an example of “boundless dedication to the profession, mercy, and wisdom. He was a talented doctor, a responsible leader, a man of high moral and ethical qualities,” Osipov said, according to Taiga.info.
The report said Agishev suffered the stroke in December and never recovered. He died on March 26.
His death comes two months after the death of the deputy chief physician for anesthesiology and resuscitation at Omsk emergency hospital No. 1.
Sergei Maksimishin died in his ward from a heart attack, the press service of the regional Health Ministry said on February 4. He was 55.
Navalny was admitted to the acute-poisoning unit of the hospital on August 20 after he became ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow.
Initially, doctors at the hospital publicly admitted that the cause of Navalny’s illness was a poisoning, but then denied that it was.
Navalny was put into a medically induced coma and evacuated to Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the poisoning. Tests in Europe determined that the toxin was from the Novichok family of Soviet-era nerve agents.
Navalny, who returned to Russia from Germany in January, is currently incarcerated in Correctional Colony No. 2, about 100 kilometers from Moscow.
A Moscow court in February ruled that while in Germany, Navalny had violated the terms of parole from an older embezzlement case that is widely considered to be politically motivated.
His suspended 3 1/2-year sentence was converted into jail time, though the court reduced that amount to 2 1/2 years for time already served in detention.
Navalny’s allies said on March 24 they were concerned over his deteriorating health and called on prison authorities to clarify his condition.
Members of the Public Oversight Commission in the Vladimir region met with Navalny on March 28, and Vyacheslav Kulikov, the chairman of the commission, said in a statement that Navalny complained about pain in his leg during the meeting and asked for assistance in getting injections to treat it.
Kulikov also said Navalny was able to walk and did not voice any other complaints. He said Navalny’s request for injections had been officially registered.
“We asked doctors to pay attention to this and, in case it is necessary, to carry out an additional medical checkup,” Kulikov said.
Correctional Colony No. 2 is known as one of the toughest penitentiaries in Russia.