Alexander Murakhovsky, who was promoted to health minister of the Omsk region days after publicly refuting allegations that someone tried to kill Vladimir Putin’s most public enemy, went hunting in a vehicle four-wheeler on May 7 and has not been seen since. His hunting partners reportedly said his four-wheeled vehicle got stuck in muddy terrain behind them and he set off on foot. He spoke to someone on his walkie-talkie but did not respond afterwards. They failed to locate him after a day of searching and then alerted authorities, who continued to search for him with a 65-strong search team. Authorities say the forest was full of bears, which may have contributed to the doctor’s disappearance.
Navalny, who fell into a coma on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow in August 2020, was later transferred to Berlin where German medics confirmed he was poisoned with a substance similar to Novichok. Murakhovsky had tried to block the overseas transfer, but ultimately backed down and approved. He was quickly promoted.Navalny later mocked the promotion, writing on Twitter, “You’re lying, fake test results, you’re willing to please the bosses in any way – you get a prize and a promotion.”
Two other doctors who treated Navaly at Omsk hospital have died. Sergei Maksimishin, the deputy chief medical officer who initially confirmed that Navalny was poisoned before turning back, died of a heart attack in December 2020. In March 2021, Rustam Agishev, another doctor who treated Navalny, is died of a stroke.
Navalny is currently serving a prison sentence for violating parole conditions by traveling to Germany to seek medical treatment for the poisoning. He ended an almost fatal hunger strike in April.