In an Instagram message announcing his decision on Friday, Navalny cited two checkups by civilian doctors as evidence that pressure from his supporters helped him get an independent medical examination.
The day before, five doctors – who are Navalny’s allies and call themselves his treating doctors – called him in a letter to end his hunger strike to avoid death.
In Friday’s Instagram post Navalny said he took note of their advice: “The doctors, whom I fully trust, posted a statement yesterday saying that you and I had gotten enough for me to end the strike. hunger: words that tests show that “in a minimum time there will be no one to cure …” they seem worthy of attention to me “.
The announcement comes just days after the Russian opposition leader was transferred to a prison hospital due to his deteriorating health.
The Kremlin critic added that while the hunger strike is ending, he still asks to see a specialist doctor because he is “losing sensation” in parts of the arm and legs and wants to understand “what it is and how to treat it”. CNN is unable to independently verify Navalny’s health status.
In an Instagram post shared by his team on Tuesday, he joked about his current condition, saying he looked like a “walking skeleton” that could be used to scare children who refused to eat.
“If you saw me now, you’d have a laugh. A skeleton walking, staggering around the cell,” Navalny said.
On Monday, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) said in a statement that Navalny was in “satisfactory” condition at the prison hospital, and that he is seen by a doctor every day. With Navalny’s consent, he was prescribed “vitamin therapy,” added FSIN.
Commenting on doctors’ concerns about his potassium levels, Navalny said on Instagram Tuesday: “You can’t take me that easily. After ‘Novichok’ even potassium isn’t that bad.”
Navalny blames the Russian security services for his poisoning last year with the nerve agent Novichok. The US and the EU broadly agree and have sanctioned Russian officials for their involvement. Russia denies any involvement in the poisoning.
Navalny was sent to jail after a Moscow court on February 2 replaced his suspended sentence with jail due to violations of his probation. He was arrested when he returned to Moscow from Germany, where he was recovering from poisoning.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, said Russian authorities did not want the Kremlin critic “to die in custody, but they want him to suffer.”
On Wednesday, Russian security forces rounded up nearly 2,000 protesters across the country, according to OVD-Info, an independent monitoring group. They demanded that the Kremlin critic be released and that he receive independent medical treatment.
Two close allies of Navalny, his press officer Kira Yarmysh and activist Lyubov Sobol, were also arrested Wednesday morning in Moscow, according to their lawyers.
Unauthorized marches were fewer than the 500,000 protesters Navalny’s team had wanted to attract, but large crowds in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities showed the dedication of its supporters.
Anna Chernova and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.