Doctor Sergey Maximishin, the deputy chief physician of the Russian hospital where opposition leader Alexei Navalny was treated immediately after his poisoning was found dead, according to a statement published by the hospital said on Thursday.
Navalny was admitted to Omsk’s hospital
Sergey Maximishin, aged 55, was in charge of intensive care at the Omsk hospital No.1 where the opposition leader was admitted after he became severely ill on a plane that was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk.
Navalny accused Vladimir Putin of attempting to murder him, but the Kremlin has denied the 44-year-old was poisoned and rejected claims of an attempt to kill him. Maximishin did not give any press briefings at the time of Navalny’s hospitalization. He was one of the most senior doctors at the hospital as the deputy chief physician for anesthesiology and resuscitation.
“With regret, we inform you that the deputy chief physician for anesthesiology and resuscitation of the emergency hospital No.1, assistant of the department of Omsk State Medical University, Ph.D. of medical sciences Maksimishin Sergey Valentinovich suddenly passed away,” the hospital said in a statement without explaining the reason of death.
Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, confirmed Maximishin was in charge of treating the opposition leader. “He knew more than anyone else about Alexey’s condition so I can’t dismiss the possibility of foul play,” he added.
“However Russia’s health care system is poor, and it’s not uncommon for doctors of his age to suddenly die. I doubt there will any investigation into his death,” Volkov continued.
The Omsk hospital and the Russian authorities strongly disagreed that Navalny showed any signs of nerve agent poisoning – but Novichok was diagnosed in his system after he was taken to Germany for life-saving treatment.
Navalny’s doctor was found dead in ICU
His colleague Maria Morozova, who saw him this week, said the death was “very unexpected”.
Galina Nazarova, a spokeswoman for Omsk health ministry, insisted there was “no special background” to the respected medic’s death. She said: “The man was sick, worried about his relatives. He buried his parents this year. He died at work, in his intensive care unit, where he worked.”
The Minister of Health of the Omsk region said in a statement that Maximishin served at the hospital for 28 years and saved thousands of human lives. “He brought people back to full reality. We will miss Doctor Maximishin very much. He left too early and because of this the pain of loss is especially bitter,” said Alexander Murakhovsky said in a statement.