Jailed Russian Dissident Alexei Navalny Ends Hunger Strike

Opposition leader says doctors advised him to end the hunger strike because it was threatening his life

Calls from Mr. Navalny’s medical team for him to end his fast, combined with the authorities’ willingness for him to see independent doctors, offered a way for the Kremlin and Mr. Navalny’s supporters to step back from a worsening confrontation. Many of the dissident’s backers have accused Mr. Putin of trying to have Mr. Navalny killed, a charge the Kremlin has denied.

“It was a way to save face for everyone,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, an independent political analysis firm in Moscow. “For Navalny he needed a respectful reason to stop the hunger strike and from my point of view, the Kremlin and Putin himself, as a pragmatic leader, don’t want to worsen the situation artificially.”

The stalemate between the Kremlin and its most effective and persistent critic is unlikely to end, however, not while Mr. Navalny remains incarcerated, other analysts said.



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