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Alexei Navalny: Poisoned Russian opposition figure ‘able to leave bed’


image copyrightReuters

image captionAlexei Navalny was transferred to the Charité hospital in the German capital

The poisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been removed from ventilation and can leave his bed, the Berlin hospital treating him has said.

Mr Navalny collapsed on a flight from Siberia on 20 August, and tests have shown he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

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

His team alleges he was poisoned on the orders of President Vladimir Putin – the Kremlin denies any involvement.

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The Charité hospital gave the update in a tweet on Monday. It said he continued to improve and was “currently undergoing mobilisation and is able to leave his bed for short periods of time”.

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cancelled his trip to Berlin for talks, scheduled for Tuesday, Russian media reported.

They quoted Russia’s foreign ministry as saying the cancellation followed a change in schedule by German counterparts.

The latest news on Mr Navalny also came as results were announced from Russia’s council elections.

The pro-Kremlin United Russia party claimed a clear win overall.

What is the latest on the poisoning?

Germany’s government has said that laboratories in France and Sweden have now reconfirmed German tests showing that the poison used on Mr Navalny was Novichok.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he did not expect his country to be criticised now that the confirmations had been made.

He was referring to the Kremlin’s response to the tests. Russia has said Germany has not provided it with details.

media captionLaura Foster explains how the Novichok nerve agent works

Following the French laboratory confirmation, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Mr Putin by telephone.

“The president expressed his deep concern over the criminal act perpetrated against Alexei Navalny and the imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances and responsibilities of this attempted assassination,” Mr Macron’s office said.

Mr Putin told him it was “inappropriate” to make such groundless accusations, the Kremlin said, repeating his call for Germany to hand over full details of the medical tests.

The Kremlin has said it is carrying out its own inquiries into the matter and will not be pressured by other countries.

What is the background to the poisoning?

Mr Navalny is an anti-corruption campaigner who has long been the most prominent face of opposition to President Putin.

Mr Navalny’s supporters believe his tea was spiked at Tomsk airport on 20 August. He became ill during the flight, and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk. Russian officials were persuaded to allow him to be airlifted 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, in England. They both survived, but a local woman, Dawn Sturgess, died after coming into contact with the poison.

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

Related Topics

  • Alexei Navalny

  • Russia
  • Vladimir Putin



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