- In his first public message after being poisoned, Alexi Navalny said on Tuesday that he is recovering and is finally able to breathe on his own.
- Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been recovering in a German hospital since he was poisoned in Siberia in late August.
- Navalnyi’s press secretary said he planned to return to Russia.
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Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny posted a picture on Instagram for the first time on Tuesday, when he fell ill after eating poison last month.
“Hi, this is Navalni,” Navalny said in Russian in the caption, which was translated by CNN. “I miss you. I can still hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day. Just myself. I didn’t use any external help, the simplest valve in my throat. Not even.”
This was Navalny’s first public message since eating poison.
Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent rival, is recovering in a German hospital after being ill after flying back to Moscow from Siberia in late August. His colleagues immediately suspected that he had been poisoned. After an emergency landing, Navalny was first taken to a hospital in Siberia, where doctors dismissed the notion that he had been poisoned.
Russian authorities initially prohibited Navalny from being medically evacuated from the country, but eventually allowed him to travel to Germany for further treatment.
After relocating to Germany, the nerve agent Novichok was found in the naval system. Novichok has been used to poison other Russian dissidents.
The German government has demanded an answer from the Kremlin over the poisoning of Navalny, but the Russian government has denied involvement in the incident. The international community has joined Germany in condemning the incident, although President Donald Trump has faced criticism for accepting Navalny’s poison.
Navalny, who has faced years of persecution from the Russian government, is the latest victim in a long list of Putin critics who have been poisoned and / or killed. But the anti-corruption campaigner is still planning to return to Russia, according to his press secretary Kira Yarmish.
“No other options were considered,” Yarmish told CNN.