The German hospital treating Alexei Navalny says that he was poisoned by a cholinesterase inhibitor. That’s a poison in the same family as nerve agents, but not necessarily a nerve agent. Some insecticides have the same characteristic, and there are other compounds as well. Identifying exactly which it is may be difficult after the time that has elapsed since he was poisoned.
The good news is that they say he is in a medically-induced coma and likely to survive. But cholinesterase inhibitors can damage the body in multiple ways, and nobody knows what damage he will sustain.
So it’s likely another poisoning by the Russian government. Their use of poison seems bizarre, but it’s a reminder to people that the government can reach down very personally to people it doesn’t like.
The German government is speaking clearly, quickly, and firmly about Kremlin's responsibility to mount serious investigation of the Navalny poisoning. Will the Trump administration (finally) come out of hiding on this issue? https://t.co/lM8TjkvJXM
— Andrew S. Weiss (@andrewsweiss) August 24, 2020
Some wonkier bits:
— Marc-Michael Blum (@blumscientific) August 24, 2020
Well. It may very well have been a nerve agent of some description that got Navalny. In which case, Omsk was negligent and should've picked up on it. Could be any one of a number of organophosphate or carbamate compounds, not just the military agents. https://t.co/JUkDdgCWgD
— Dan Kaszeta (@DanKaszeta) August 24, 2020