Putin vows a 'quick and tough' Russian response for its foes

Law enforcement officers stand in front of participants during a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg Russia

Law enforcement officers stand in front of participants during a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg Russia

Putin said threats against Russian Federation will not work.

Doctors over the weekend warned that the 44-year-old's health was deteriorating to such an extent he could die at "any minute", while the United States threatened Russian Federation with "consequences" in the event of his death.

He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years on old fraud charges his supporters say were politically motivated and has been serving time in a penal colony in the town of Pokrov about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow.

"The situation with Alexei is indeed critical, and so we moved up the day of the mass protests", Vladimir Ashurkov, a close Navalny ally and executive director of the Foundation for Fighting Corruption, told the Associated Press.

"This is super disrespectful to people who came to fulfill their human duty, a medical duty to help a patient", Vasilyeva said. "But we see what is happening in real life - they are picking on Russian Federation", said Putin.

They were denied entry after waiting for hours outside the gates.

Navalny, who survived a nerve agent poisoning last year that Russian Federation denies carrying out, was sentenced in February to 2-1/2 years for parole violations related to an embezzlement case that he says was politically motivated.

"His arms are all blue with the shots", the lawyer said.

Leaders around the globe have called for Navalny's release or, at the least, for him to receive the medical care he seeks.

The Kremlin has rejected Western concerns about the troop concentration, saying it is free to deploy the military wherever it is deemed necessary on the Russian territory.

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Navalny was arrested on his return to Russian Federation in January from Germany, where he had spent months recovering from a poisoning attack with the Novichok nerve agent.

Putin backed claims by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that his security services had thwarted an alleged U.S. plot to assassinate him, suggesting senior U.S. officials were involved in a "coup attempt" and accusing the West of pretending "that nothing is happening".

The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Russian Federation over the poisoning, and on Monday threatened Moscow with further penalties in the event of Navalny's death.

Navalny started a prison hunger strike three weeks ago to protest what he says is inadequate medical treatment for his back pains and officials' refusal to allow a visit by his doctor.

Navalny's physician, Dr. Yaroslav Ashikhmin, said recently that test results he received from Navalny's family showed sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys and he "could die at any moment".

Russia's prison service insisted his condition was "satisfactory", despite moving him to the medical facility, and said he was taking vitamin supplements as part of his treatment.

In response to Navalny's deteriorating health, his associates have called for a nationwide rally tomorrow, the same day that Putin is scheduled to deliver his annual state of the nation address.

OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests and offers aid to detainees, reported that police searched the offices of Navalny's organisation in Yekaterinburg and detained a Navalny-affiliated journalist in Khabarovsk.

"We are looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose and I'm not going to telegraph that publicly at this point", Sullivan said Sunday before adding, "We have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies".

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