Russian Opposition Leader Navalny to End Hunger Strike

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced Friday he is ending his hunger strike after he was examined by a panel of civilian doctors.  
Navalny made the announcement from his Instagram account. He began the hunger strike March 31 to protest what he said was a lack of medical care for severe back and leg pain.
In his post, Navalny said he had been seen twice by a panel of civilian doctors, who are doing tests and analysis and will give him “results and conclusions.”  
He wrote, “I am not withdrawing my request to allow the necessary doctor to see me – I am losing feeling in areas of my arms and legs, and I want to understand what it is and how to treat it, but considering the progress and all the circumstances, I am beginning to come out of the hunger strike.”
He said it would take 24 hours for him to fully come out of the hunger strike, and he thanked the “good people of Russia” for their support.  
Thursday, more than 1,900 Navalny supporters were detained during protests in cities across the country. From his Instagram account, he said he felt “pride and hope” after learning about the protests.
Navalny survived a near-fatal poisoning last year and was arrested when he returned to Moscow in January following lifesaving treatment in Germany. The Kremlin denies any role in the poisoning.
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in February on an embezzlement charge and was being held at the Pokrov correctional colony, which he described as “a real concentration camp.”
The United States and other countries have sanctioned Kremlin officials over the poisoning, and many are calling for Navalny’s release.

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