Opposition blogger Alexey Navalny, who is serving a sentence in a colony in the Vladimir region, said that he was ending his hunger strike.
Why would it suddenly? Has the regime already fallen under the banner of democracy, accompanied by Western curators, and amid applause from Washington and Brussels, a new government, open to peace and universal values, entered the Kremlin on a white horse?
So it seems not …
The day before, the doctors supervising Navalny, including the head of the so-called. “Alliance of Doctors” * Anastasia Vasilieva aboutposted on Twitter an appeal to him with a request to end the hunger strike, but then for some reason the message was deleted. In it, they reported that on April 20, Navalny had been taken “to the civil hospital of Vladimir,” the necessary research was carried out, consultations of a neurosurgeon and the chief freelance nephrologist and chief neurologist of the Vladimir region.
“Now I have been examined twice by a council of civilian doctors. The last time was right before the rally. They do research and analyzes and give me the results and conclusions. “– says in the account of the blogger, which he actively leads despite the brutal regime in the prison, where he was thrown by a court decision.
The report notes that doctors, whom he trusts, said that they had achieved enough for him to take off his hunger strike. “Their words that the analyzes show:” in a minimum time there will be no one to heal “… mmm … seem to me worthy of attention”, – the prisoner writes.
In addition, Navalny said that one of the reasons for the end of the hunger strike was what he learned about people who were on the hunger strike at the same time as a sign of solidarity, including representatives of the Mothers of Beslan.
“I do not withdraw the requirement to admit the necessary doctor to me – I lose the sensitivity of the parts of my arms and legs, and I want to understand what it is and how to treat it, but taking into account the progress and all the circumstances, I start to get out of the hunger strike. According to the rules, it will take the same 24 days, and they say it is even harder. “… – writes Navalny.
Recall that Navalny went on a hunger strike on March 31. He explained her refusal to admit civilian doctors to him amid his deteriorating health condition.
Meanwhile, after the examination, civilian doctors demanded that he be transferred to a civilian clinic in Moscow in order to establish a full diagnosis and ensure an effective exit from the hunger strike. To do this, doctors propose to conduct additional research, and on the basis of the clinic to gather a council with the involvement of Western specialists and the politician’s attending physicians. They noted that Navalny has been in pain for 2 months, which violates all standards and ethical principles. According to them, a number of analyzes indicate a direct threat to life. In addition, they stated that getting out of a prolonged hunger strike requires special skills in prescribing nutritional therapy.
A good, by the way, method for other inmates: stop eating gruel, and then, on this basis, demand a transfer from kichi to the hospital at will and provide medical nutrition there. Beautiful, in their language, a master. And why don’t they use it? Probably, unlike Navalny, they know something about the consequences …
Earlier, many Russian and foreign public figures, politicians, cultural figures and scientists called on to provide Navalny with the necessary assistance.
Can we say that he achieved his goal? It is unlikely that all these requirements will be met, but the main thing is already. At the same time, the latest action by Navalny’s supporters shows that despite the resonance caused by the blogger’s imprisonment and hunger strike, the number of his supporters is not growing.
What are they going to do now? And how convincing did this hunger strike look in general? How promising is it in itself to ruin your health, ostensibly in order to improve your health? But Navalny lasted almost a month (if he really was starving, which is generally doubtful) …
“I don’t know how long this hunger strike actually lasted,” says Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Regional Studies and Foreign Policy of the Russian State University for the Humanities Vadim Trukhachev… – I remember recovering from a hunger strike Nadezhda Savchenko… But if you really did starve as much as he says, it is a lot, and for health it is unlikely to pass without a trace.
“SP”: – In an Instagram post, he explained the end of the hunger strike by the fact that he was examined by civilian doctors and the recommendation of his attending doctors. Is it so?
– Any person has an instinct to preserve – including Navalny. So his voice matched the doctors’ recommendations.
“SP”: – Navalny also explained the end of the hunger strike by the fact that he had learned about people who were on hunger strike at the same time as him as a sign of solidarity, including representatives of the Mothers of Beslan. Was it planned in advance, in your opinion? Can we talk about broad resonance and broad support for Navalny’s hunger strike?
– The resonance was quite wide, but I doubt it about broad support. In general, I can’t remember any really massive hunger strikes lately. It’s a very risky thing, after all.
“SP”: – Did the past rallies, which showed that support for the protests of the Navalnists, at least, is not growing, have they influenced? Why were these “fire actions” necessary at all?
– These actions have already become a ritual, they are valuable for organizers and participants by the very fact of their holding. They showed that Navalny has a certain core of supporters (albeit a small one). It should not be exaggerated, but it should not be underestimated either.
“SP”: – What now? How will their tactics change? What lessons did they learn and what will they do next?
– I’m afraid that now their tactics will include clashes with law enforcement officers to a greater extent. If you fail to take by quantity, you will have to take “quality”. In this case, tightening.
“SP”: – All this situation in the end – a victory or a defeat for Navalny?
– Neither victory nor defeat. He showed that he was able to lead a number of people. But he does not manage to go beyond the bounds of enthusiastic admirers, and therefore it cannot be called a victory.
“SP”: – How effective are hunger strikes in the West and in our country?
– Hunger strikes are useful for drawing attention to yourself, but they rarely help to achieve results. What we have, what is in the West. So I see them as an unjustified health risk. With an unclear result.
– A hunger strike is not, in this case, a way of dietary unloading or treatment, the resource of any person is individual, – believes Denis Sommer, director of the Center for the Study of the Problems of Forming Civil Society at the Institute for Innovative Development. – Therefore, it is hardly correct to speak about the timing here. But for any person, a month is a long time.
“SP”: – What have you achieved? Can he write this down for himself?
– Using a hunger strike as a tool to attract the attention of society in conditions of restriction of freedom is still one of the extreme measures. Because the consequences for the human body taking such a step can be quite lethal. There are known cases of hunger strikes “to death.” Among such hunger strikes, there is a very vivid example of the communist folk music group in Turkey “Yurum Group”, where the list of people who went on “hunger strike to death”, as a result of the real repressive actions of the Turkish regime, goes to dozens. In any case, any politician can write down such a step as an asset.
“SP”: – What was the original goal? Like my health is bad, I demand that I be treated, so I will starve to make me worse. Probably, it has nothing to do with the political struggle?
– The goal was absolutely clear — to draw the attention of society, including abroad, to a high-profile case. It is difficult to judge how effective this actually turned out. But she did not achieve the main task – reconsideration of the case and, moreover, release.
But we must admit that such an instrument as drawing attention to a particular problem, like a hunger strike, continues to exist, and this, in any case, indicates the existence of problems in society.
“SP”: – What will Navalny and his supporters do now?
– The obvious outcome of the last action is an element of confusion and the absence of a further plan of action on the part of the politician’s supporters and citizens opposed to the authorities who joined them on the streets of the capital.
Also, no one takes into account the element of public fatigue from more than a year’s absence of public protest events in connection with the “temporary” restrictions from the coronavirus infection. Society and everyone sees that someone has the right to gather a stadium for a rally, while someone is consistently prohibited from holding public actions within the framework of existing legislation, referring to counter-like restrictions, and in fact are pushing to search for other, undoubtedly more radical forms of protest.
Further social tension, exacerbated by a decline in the well-being of citizens, including from economic disastrous consequences – lockdown, remote work and, as a result, job cuts, will push people to public actions. And what will be the reason for them another time is difficult to guess.
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