Missing doctor who treated Putin critic Navalny is found ALIVE after walking out of forest full of bears where he had been lost for three days
- Dr Alexander Murakhovsky was found wandering out of a Siberian forest Monday
- He had vanished on Friday from a hunting base, with some fearing he had been attacked by wild bears
- The doctor had overseen Alexei Navalny’s treatment after poisoning claims
- There was concern over the doctor’s disappearance after two medics who had treated Navalny had died in mysterious circumstances
The doctor who oversaw the treatment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been found alive following a three-day search after he went missing on a hunting trip.
Dr Alexander Murakhovsky, 49, was found wandering out of a Siberian forest after vanishing on Friday from a hunting base, with some fearing he had been attacked by wild bears in the vicinity.
The doctor, who had been on a hunting trip in the remote Omsk region, had overseen Mr Navalny’s initial treatment and had claimed he had not been poisoned with Novichok by the Kremlin.
Dr Murakhovsky, who is the Health Minister of the Omsk region, was found after he wandered out of the forest near the village of Basly in the Bolsheukovsky district and asked locals for help, reports the RBC news website.
Dr Alexander Murakhovsky, 49, was found wandering out of a Siberian forest after vanishing on Friday from a hunting base amid fears he had been attacked by wild bears in the vicinity
Dr Murakhovsky, who is the Health Minister of the Omsk region, was found after he wandered out of the forest near the village of Basly in the Bolsheukovsky district and asked locals for help. Pictured: The boggy landscape of the Bolksheukovsky district
He appeared in the village on Monday, 32 kilometers from the hunting base where he had set off from on Friday.
The doctor was taken to a nearby hospital, the regional government’s press service said.
Dr Murakhovsky’s wife Nazezhda, 61, also a doctor, confirmed to broadcaster Dozhd that she has spoken to him on the phone, adding that he doesn’t yet ‘understand the scale of the search’.
She said: ‘He is not a hunter. He has never shot an animal in his life. I believe he survived for three days only because of his will power.
‘He is really strong. He didn’t want to upset us . Sorry, I cannot speak anymore.’
It also emerged that a ‘mysterious woman’ on the ‘hunting trip’ was Dr Natalya Bloshkina, his former deputy at the same hospital where he treated Navalny, according to BAZA media. She has not yet commented.
There was concern over the doctor’s disappearance after two medics who had also treated Navalny had died in mysterious circumstances earlier this year.
In February Dr Sergei Maksimishin, 55, another doctor who treated the activist, died in mysterious circumstances amid claims he had been ‘liquidated’.
The following month a further medic Dr Rustam Agishev, 63, unexpectedly died after ‘suffering a stroke’, prompting claims the death was suspicious.
Omsk regional police had said over the weekend Dr Murakhovsky had not been seen since leaving a hunting base in the village of Pospelovo in an all-terrain vehicle and heading to the forest.
There was concern over the doctor’s disappearance after two medics who had also treated Navalny had died in mysterious circumstances earlier this year. Pictured: Dr Sergei Maksimishin, 55, (left) who died in February amid claims he had been ‘liquidated’; Dr Rustam Agishev, 63, (right) who unexpectedly died in March
His friends had searched for the doctor on Friday but later reported him as missing to the police.
Police officers, hunting inspectors and local residents continued their search efforts on Monday after they found Dr Murakhovsky’s missing vehicle 6.5 from the hunting base on Sunday.
There were unconfirmed claims over the weekend that Dr Murakhovsky had contacted other hunters by radio to say that he would go on by foot – but was confused over which direction to go.
But officials from the Omsk region confirmed on Monday the doctor had been found.
The doctor was taken to a nearby hospital, the regional government’s press service said
‘The health minister Alexander Murakhnovsky walked to the people of Basly village by himself. He is in a normal condition, he is getting checks at the hospital of Bolshie Uki district,’ they said a statement.
Meanwhile Andrey Kozachuk, a businessman who was with Dr Murakhovsky riding the all terrain vehicles when he went missing, said ‘it was impossible to get lost there’.
He said: ‘ I can’t explain what happened myself. It was impossible to get lost there.’
They took different paths but were less than a mile apart in boggy territory.
‘I called his walkie-talkie, he said that he got stuck and left the vehicle, and that he was walking by foot.’
Dr Murakhovsky had treated Mr Navalny at a hospital after he had fallen ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow in August last year with suspected novichok poisoning.
Dr Murakhovsky had said at the time regarding Navalny that ‘analyses of biological material carried out in three different laboratories did not find any signs of poisoning’.
The doctor was then controversially promoted to health minister of Omsk.
He was swiftly mocked on Twitter by Mr Navalny, 44, who said: ‘You lie, fake test results, are ready to please the bosses in any way – you get an award and a promotion.’
Local health chiefs and doctors claimed they found no evidence of novichok in Navalny’s (pictured) blood, and denied he had been poisoned
When Dr Sergei Maksimishin died in February his colleagues said his demise was ‘very unexpected’.
It was denied he died from Covid-19, while there were also claims he had succumbed to a heart attack.
He had suffered extremely high blood pressure shortly before his death, said reports.
‘The issue is not whether he was involved in the treatment of Alexei Navalny, but the reason for his liquidation was his readiness to share information about the treatment that he had access to,’ said a post on a Telegram channel called General SVR.
The channel – which claims access to leaked secrets from the Russian elite – did not give any direct evidence for its claim.
Navalny, 44, fell acutely ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow last August.
The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, and Navalny was taken to the hospital headed by Dr Murakhovsky.
Local health chiefs and doctors claimed they found no evidence of novichok in Navalny’s blood, and denied he had been poisoned.
But there were also claims that the hospital was full of agents of the security service FSB, which was later accused of poisoning Navalny.
He was then airlifted to Germany, where doctors concluded he had been poisoned with a military grade nerve agent.
Navalny returned to Russia and was immediately arrested.
He was jailed in February for parole violations, on what he says were politically motivated charges, and sent to a penal colony.
Navalny subsequently staged a hunger strike as tens of thousands protested across Russian demanding his release.
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