Alexei Navalny: Putin’s criticism ‘Putin will return to Russia’


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image CaptionAlexey Navalny posted on Instagram from his hospital bed in Germany

Anti-venom Russian man Alexey Navalny is to return to Russia, his spokesman has said.

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

Mr. Navalny also posted a picture on Instagram for the first time in which he spewed venom, declaring that he was breathing free from ventilation.

He fell while flying from Siberia on 20 August. Tests have revealed that she was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

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

His team alleges that he was poisoned at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin denies any involvement.

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“All morning journalists are texting me and asking, is it true that Alexei plans to return to Russia?” Ms. Yarmish wrote.

“Again I can confirm for everyone: no other alternative was ever thought.”

The announcement came soon after Mr. Navalny took to Instagram.

“Hi, this is Navalni. I miss you. I still can’t do much, but yesterday I managed to breathe on my own for the entire day,” he wrote.

“Just on my own, no extra help, not even a valve in my throat. I loved it. It’s a remarkable process that is underestimated by many. Strongly recommended.”

There is a minor police presence outside the hospital, where Mr Navalny is being treated, Ben Tavener from the BBC Russian Service reports on the incident.

Our correspondent says that there are two armed officers and a police van at an entrance which has been stationed outside for days.

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

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

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “We do not see the need for such a meeting, so I believe there will not be such a meeting.”

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The Kremlin is determined for its line that it has nothing to do with Mr. Navalny’s toxicity and it is no surprise that Mr. Putin’s spokesman ruled out a meeting between the president and his most rabid critic.

Mr. Putin has never actually called Mr. Navalny by his name, trying to make it as if this politician is unknown and insignificant. They aim to convince everyone – in Russia and abroad – that the Kremlin is not paying any heed to Mr. Navalny’s activity, which is clearly far from reality.

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

Russia has not dismissed allegations of any involvement in the attempt on Mr Navalny’s life, but has insisted that it has no toxicity and that opposition leaders simply fell ill.

And today the head of the Russian intelligence department, Sergei Narishkin, accused Germany of poisoning Mr. Navalny with a Novichok nerve agent.

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

What is the background of poisoning?

Mr. Navalny is an anti-corruption campaigner who for a long time was the most prominent face of opposition to President Putin.

Supporters of Mr. Navalny believe that his tea was served at Tomsk Airport on 20 August. He became ill during the flight, and the aircraft made an emergency landing in Omsk. Russian officials were persuaded two days later to allow them to airlift in Germany.

A nerve agent from the Novichok group was also used to poison ex-detective Sergei Skripal and his daughter in 2018 in Salisbury, England. They both survived, but a local woman, Don Sturges, died after being exposed to the poison.

Media captionLaura Foster explains how Novichok nerve agent works

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

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