Italian doctors have confirmed the rare neurological disorder that weakened former senior aide to President Vladimir Putin as authorities continue to await results of extensive tests to rule out poisoning, according to a family friend and Italian media.
Veteran reformer and former Kremlin climate envoy Anatoly Chubais, 67, was hospitalized over the weekend with what he described as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Chubais resigned and left Russia in March in the highest resignation of its kind following President Vladimir Putin’s order to invade Ukraine.
“Doctors finally confirmed his diagnosis: Guillain-Barré syndrome,” TV personality Ksenia Sobchak wrote on his Telegram channel on Wednesday, attaching a photo of Chubais in his hospital bed.
The cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nerves and causes rapid onset muscle weakness, is not yet known and recovery can take years.
“His condition has stabilized but Anatoly Borisovitch [Chubais] is still in intensive care; his legs and arms are not working well, his eyes are not closing, and he is suffering from partial facial paralysis,” Sobchak said.
Chubais is protected by a ‘super escort’ of private agents at a private hospital in the northern Sardinian town of Olbia, according to the ANSA news agency. reported.
A history of suspected poisoning cases against Putin’s enemies and reports of authorities in hazmat suits searching his room have sparked speculation that Chubais may have been poisoned.
“Although the poisoning hypothesis seems increasingly unlikely, the results of the extensive medical tests he underwent in a private hospital should make it certain,” he said.
The public prosecutor for the town of Tempio Pausanias in northern Sardinia reportedly visited Chubais on Tuesday “to check on his state of health and gather information about the incident”.
No official investigation was opened and prosecutors carried out “information” activities only at the insistence of Chubais’ wife due to old cases of poisoning, ANSA reported.