Russian police detain Navalny allies ahead of demonstrations

Russian police detained allies of jailed oppositionist Alexei Navalny on Tuesday and raided two of his regional offices, his supporters said, a day before they planned to stage mass protests over his ailing health Reuters reports.

Navalny declared a hunger strike on March 31st to demand access to better medical care. He was moved to a prison with a hospital on Sunday. His supporters say they fear for his life.

The 44-year-old is now being held in a one-person cell in the hospital of a maximum security prison and has been given no treatment beyond a glucose drip, his lawyer, Vadim Kobzev, said after visiting him.

Nurses tried repeatedly to give him another drip on Monday but were unable to find a vein, he said.

"The 'treatment procedures' have ended at that. There's been nothing else, don't believe a word from any of them," Kobzev tweeted.

The state prison service has said his condition is satisfactory and that he has agreed to receive "vitamin therapy". Russian state media has accused Navalny of faking his medical problems to draw attention to his cause.

Navalny, in an Instagram post published by his lawyers, said he looked like a skeleton staggering around in his cell and that he was using a paper court document to swat mosquitoes.

A team of medics has been trying to see him to demand proper medical treatment for a litany of ailments, but on Tuesday were again denied access after being kept waiting for hours.

Navalny's allies plan to take to the streets on Wednesday evening in Moscow and other cities across the country.

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