The chief doctor of a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk, which briefly treated the poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, has been promoted to head of the regional health ministry, local authorities said on Saturday.
In August, 44-year-old Navalny fell seriously ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow and was hospitalized after an emergency landing in Omsk.
The anti-graft activist was eventually taken to Germany for treatment, where experts ruled that he had been poisoned using the Soviet Union-designed nerve agent Novichok.
Alexander Murakhovsky, the chief doctor of Omsk Emergency Hospital No. 1, was among the doctors who claimed no traces of poison had been found in Navalny’s system and stopped his transport to Berlin.
In a statement published on the Omsk regional government website, Murakhovsky has “completed all professional steps, since a doctor and leader knows and understands all processes in health care”.
It said that his candidacy “has been confirmed by the leadership of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Alexander Murakhovsky has been appointed to the Ministry of Health of the Region”.
In a Twitter post, Navalny mocked Murakhovsky’s appointment:
“You lie, false test results, ready to please bosses in any way – you get an award and a promotion.”
He added that the region’s health care is now in the hands of a “lying nobody”.
On Friday, the Siberian Department of the Interior Ministry announced that doctors in Omsk had confirmed that Navalny’s disease was caused by metabolic problems and pancreatitis, which ruled out poisoning.
Navalny has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally responsible for the poisoning.
The Kremlin has denied all allegations and accused Germany of not cooperating in the investigation into the incident.
In October, the EU sanctioned several senior Russian officials for the poisoning, saying the Novichok attack would not have been possible without the complicity of the FSB security service, the Defense Ministry and Putin’s office.
Navalny, who remains in Germany for treatment, has vowed to return to Russia after a full recovery.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)