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image copyrightSimonovsky District Court/Handout via Reuters

Alexei Navalny is starving, but he’s still making dark jokes. Three weeks into a prison hunger strike, the opposition politician has described himself as a “skeleton” staggering round his cell with such sunken eyes and taut skin he’d frighten any child into eating their porridge.

But his supporters aren’t laughing.

They’ve been warning that Navalny’s life “hangs by a thread” since blood test results appeared to show that his potassium levels were dangerously high.

Vladimir Putin’s foremost critic was detained the moment he returned to Russia in January after treatment for nerve agent poisoning