Alexey Navalny, Russia's (Putin's) opposition leader, was transferred yesterday from Siberia to Berlin for emergency treatment (for a suspected poisoning).

Russian doctors permitted him to be evacuated from Russia to Germany at Navalny's family request.

Why would Putin allow such a transfer?

  • he takes the risk of having Western doctors show that Navalny was indeed poisoned
  • doctors might save him and allow him to talk, loudly

Is it because

  • Putin gave in to public opinion?
  • Putin is not the one who ordered the poisoning, and simply doesn't want Navalny to die? (for political reasons)
  • Putin doesn't want more Western sanctions?
  • or, Putin wants to get rid of him...
  • 1
    Welcome to Politics SE! Questions asking why people behaved the way they did are generally off-topic here, because any answers would be based on speculation and not on facts and resources available to the public. Please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more.
    – Joe C
    Aug 23 '20 at 7:02
  • There could also be a good reason, not an opinion, that led to that behavior, and that I'm not aware of... Aug 23 '20 at 7:04
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    Yes, but the point is that we have no way of knowing for certain what that is, and we only want to provide answers that we can prove are correct.
    – Joe C
    Aug 23 '20 at 7:05
  • And, hopefully, some people reading the question know the reason, and will provide a link to the source. Why can't you wait a few days to see if that's the case or not? Aug 23 '20 at 7:06
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    Navalny’s biomaterials were flown to Moscow's Nii Sklif lab which assured Putin there was no more traces of poison. He must have thought it's okay to release Navalny's body then. But they had used an american Agilent Technologies GC-MS, while Bundeswehr toxicology lab used an order of magnitude more sensitive (and more expensive) Bruker's apex-Qe FTMS which helped detect novichok.
    – rych
    Sep 4 '20 at 12:46

A lot of this is speculation. For example very few people in the world know if Putin actually ordered Alexey Navalny poisoned (exactly one person knows for sure, if he didn't).

If we assume that Putin actually did order the poisoning, then this article discusses the context. Points made:

  • This isn't the first time a Russian dissident has been allegedly poisoned.
  • What happened this time sounds similar to what happened in the past. Person is poisoned, plainclothes police swarm the hospital, and the patient is released after a few days, allegedly after his or her body has cleared the poison.
  • If you want to kill someone with poison, there are poisons that will guarantee death. In other words, if whoever ordered the poisoning wanted Alexey Navalny dead, he shouldn't just be unconscious, he should be dead. If he isn't dead it's because he wasn't supposed to die.

The article suggests that it's possible Navalny was poisoned to scare him, not to kill him. Read it and draw your own conclusions. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, it's all speculation.

  • 3
    Not only to scare him, but also to scare others, which is most effective if an independent other party confirms he was indeed poisoned.
    – gerrit
    Sep 3 '20 at 8:01
  • @gerrit Which makes absolutely no sense. Navalny has almost no public support in Russia. The biggest opposition party in Russia is the Communist party. Putin's approval rating is still very high. He did however, take a huge cut in popularity when he raised the age of retirement. Which he did as a direct consequence of the economic impact from the sanctions imposed on Russia after the alleged poisoning in Salisbury. So why would he risk more sanctions to further lower his popularity numbers? Sep 4 '20 at 12:05
  • Worth mentioning as well that the Russians doctors insists they did test him for poison and did not find any. And we've still seen no proof that he actually was poisoned. Sep 4 '20 at 12:10
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    @dan-klasson Navalny exposes corruption. Some corrupt people may be unhappy with that. Some of them may be good friends with Putin. Even if he is not a direct threat to Putin there can still be powerful people who want to send a message that behaviour like his will be "punished".
    – gerrit
    Sep 4 '20 at 22:40

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