- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2021

Alexei Navalny stressed that he is not suicidal in a statement he shared on social media Friday on the eve of supporters of the jailed Russian opposition leader planning to protest his imprisonment.

“Just in case: I don’t plan to either hang myself on the window or cut my veins or throat open with a sharpened spoon,” Mr. Navalny said in an Instagram post, as translated by The Moscow Times.

“I take the stairs very carefully. My blood pressure is measured every day — it’s like an astronaut’s and a sudden heart attack is out of the question,” Mr. Navalny continued, as translated by the Meduza news site. “My psycho-emotional state is completely stable. I know that there are lots of good people outside my prison and help will come.”

Mr. Navalny, 44, one of the Kremlin’s most prominent critics, offered the grim assurances while detained at Moscow’s notorious Matrosskaya Tishina prison following his most recent arrest days earlier.

Police detained Mr. Navalny shortly after he arrived Sunday in Moscow following a flight from Berlin, where he had been recuperating since August after a near-fatal poisoning.

German authorities determined Mr. Nalanvy was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet nerve agent, and the U.S. subsequently accused the Russian government of responsibility. The Kremlin has denied involvement.

Supporters of Mr. Navalny seeking his release from prison have announced plans to protest Saturday. Russia prohibits such rallies, however, so they also risk imprisonment.

Indeed, Russian state media reported Friday that Mr. Navalny‘s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, among others, was arrested on the eve of the protests for encouraging participation and ordered jailed for nine days.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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