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Alexei Navalny: Poisoned Putin critic ‘returns to Russia’



Navalny in the hospital bed

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captionAlexei Navalny posted on Instagram from his hospital bed in Germany

The poisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny is due to return to Russia, his spokeswoman said.

“It’s puzzling to me why anyone should think otherwise,” Kira Yarmysh posted on Twitter.

Sir. Navalny also posted a photo on Instagram for the first time since he was poisoned, announcing he was breathing free of ventilation.

He collapsed on a flight from Siberia on August 20. Tests have shown he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

He was transferred to the Charité hospital in the German capital, Berlin.

His team claims he was poisoned by order of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin denies any involvement.

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“All the morning journalists have written to me and asked, is it true that Alexei is planning to return to Russia?” Mrs. Yarmysh wrote.

“Again, I can confirm to everyone: No other options were ever considered.”

The announcement came shortly after Mr Navalny took to Instagram.

“Hi, this is Navalny. I have missed you. I still can not do much, but yesterday I managed to breathe alone all day,” he wrote.

“Just alone, no extra help, not even a valve in my throat. I liked it. It is a remarkable process that is underestimated by many. Highly recommended.”

There is a modest police presence outside the hospital where Mr Navalny is being treated, reports Ben Tavener of the BBC’s Russian service from the scene.

There are two armed officers at an entrance and a police car that has been out for several days, our correspondent says.

Unconfirmed reports in the German media suggest that two more armed police units have been set up inside – outside the congregation and at the politician’s bed.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has ruled out a meeting between Mr Navalny and Mr Putin after the opposition figure recovers.

“We do not see the need for such a meeting, so I do not think such a meeting will take place,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Attack is the best form of defense for the Kremlin

Sergei Goryashko, Russian BBC

The Kremlin maintains that it has nothing to do with Mr Navalny’s poisoning, and it is no surprise that Mr Putin’s spokesman ruled out the possibility of a meeting between the president and his harshest critic.

Sir. In fact, Putin has never called Mr Navalny by his name and tried to make it look like this politician is unknown and insignificant. They aim to convince everyone – in Russia and abroad – that the Kremlin is not at all aware of Mr Navalny’s activity, which is, of course, far from reality.

Moscow’s response to Mr Navalny’s poisoning is based on its well – known policy that attack is the best form of defense.

Russia has not only denied allegations of any involvement in the attempt on Mr Navalny’s life, but insists there has been no poisoning at all and the opposition leader simply fell ill.

And today, the head of the Russian intelligence service, Sergei Naryshkin, stopped just outside accusing Germany of poisoning Mr Navalny with the Novichok nerve agent.

He said there had been no trace of poison in Mr Navalny’s body when the politician left Russia. Sir. Naryshkin also said that Russia had destroyed all reserves in Novichok and therefore Moscow has questions to Germany.

What is the background of the poisoning?

Sir. Navalny is an anti-corruption campaign that has long been the most prominent face of opposition to President Putin.

Sir. Navalny’s supporters believe his tea was added at Tomsk airport on August 20. He fell ill during the flight and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk. Russian officials were persuaded to let him fly to Germany two days later.

A nerve agent from the Novichok group was also used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018. They both survived, but a local woman, Dawn Sturgess, died after being in contact with the poison.

media headlineLaura Foster explains how the Novichok nerve agent works

Britain accused Russia’s military intelligence of carrying out this attack. Twenty countries expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats and spies. Moscow denied any involvement.

Related topics

  • Alexei Navalny

  • Russia

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