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Legal Matters

Kremlin Critic Hospitalized With Similar Symptoms To 2015 Poison Scare

A Kremlin critic whose sudden and severe illness in 2015 led to suspicions that he had been poisoned is on life support in a Moscow hospital with similar symptoms, his wife told RFE/RL.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., 35, was hospitalized early on February 2 and placed in an intensive-care unit "with symptoms similar to those he had two years ago," Yevgenia Kara-Murza said in a Facebook message.

"His doctors describe his condition as critical," she said. "He has low blood pressure [and] respiratory insufficiency, and the reason for this is yet again unclear."

She said later on February 2 that Kara-Murza suffered kidney failure and was on life support after being placed in an induced coma.

"The clinical picture, according to his doctors, is the same as last time," she said.

Kara-Murza abruptly fell ill in Moscow on May 26, 2015, and was in critical condition for several days. He spent about two months in hospitals in the Russian capital and outside Washington, D.C.

Kara-Murza believes he was deliberately poisoned with a sophisticated toxin and that he was targeted for his political activities.

Kara-Murza is a coordinator for former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's nongovernmental organization, Open Russia. He has also been a spokesman for the Russian political opposition in Washington, where he has advocated for sanctions against Russian officials and media executives before U.S. lawmakers.

Senior Democratic U.S. lawmakers on February 2 expressed support for the activist and urged action from the new administration of President Donald Trump.

"Troubling news given Putin's history of silencing opposition, and Vladimir Kara-Murza's previous poisoning," Senator Tim Kaine, who was former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's running mate last year, said on Twitter.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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