Poisoned Nalvany speaks out after attack

 

Poisoned Putin opponent Alexei Navalny has spoked out for the first time since waking from his coma nearly a month after he was stricken with a Novichok nerve agent.

The 44-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption campaign, who is Russian President Vladimir Putin's fiercest critic, posted his recovery on Instagram to his 1.8 million followers.

Navalny, who is believed to have woken from his coma last week, has now had his first day breathing without a ventilator.

Looking gaunt and surrounded by his family, he is photographed sitting up in a hospital bed.

On Instagram he wrote, "Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you. I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day.

"I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat.

"It's an amazing process and underestimated by many. I liked it very much … recommend."

Despite his upbeat mood, Navalny could barely smile, while his wife Yulia and children beamed at the camera.

On August 20, Navalny was poisoned during a flight from the northwestern Russian city of Tomsk to Moscow in what was presumed to have been a politically-motivated assassination attempt.

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Alexei Navalny, with his wife Yulia and two children, has breathed unaided for the first time since his nerve agent poisoning last month. Picture: Instagram.
Alexei Navalny, with his wife Yulia and two children, has breathed unaided for the first time since his nerve agent poisoning last month. Picture: Instagram.

 

Novichok, a Soviet-developed chemical weapon, is the same substance used in the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK in 2018. Both survived.

When Navalny fell ill soon after takeoff, he was airlifted to Berlin where he remains in hospital, although he has expressed a desire to return to Russian as soon as possible.

Germany has said there was "unequivocal evidence" that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok.

But Moscow has dismissed the findings, saying its doctors found "no trace" of poison in his blood or urine.

 

 

The potentially fatal nerve agent can be ingested or inhaled, but can also be absorbed through the skin.

The symptoms are convulsions, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, profuse sweating, and heightened then decreased heart rate.

A passionate campaigner described by some as "the man Vladimir Putin fears most", Navalny has previously organised demonstrations against Putin, and described Putin's party as one "of crooks and thieves".

Navalny has been arrested several times by Russian authorities and spent time in prison.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement of the Russian state in the attack on him.

In a statement, the Kremlin said it would be glad to "welcome this Russian citizen" back home.

Putin is said to avoid directly referring to Navalny by name.

candace.sutton@news.com.au

Originally published as Poisoned Nalvany speaks out after attack


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