Poisoning recovery

Putin opponent Navalny posts photo from hospital, says he can breathe by himself

Photograph shows Navalny sitting up in bed and looking towards the camera, with wife Yulia supporting him, and their two children looking on

Putin opponent Navalny posts photo from hospital, says he can breathe by himself

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his family members pose for a picture at Charite Hospital in Berlin, Germany, in this undated image obtained from social media September 15, 2020. Courtesy of Instagram @NAVALNY/Social Media via Reuters

Moscow, September 15

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny shared a photograph from a Berlin hospital on Tuesday, sitting up in bed and surrounded by his family, and said he could now breathe independently following his suspected poisoning last month.

"Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you all," he wrote in the caption to his Instagram followers. "I can still hardly do anything, but yesterday I could breathe all day on my own. Actually on my own."

Navalny, the leading opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell violently sick in Siberia last month and was airlifted to Berlin. Germany says laboratory tests in three countries have determined he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, and Western governments have demanded an explanation from Russia.

Moscow has called the accusations groundless. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated on Tuesday that Moscow was open to clearing up what happened to Navalny, but it needed access to information on his case from Germany.

He said Moscow did not understand why, if French and Swedish laboratories had been able to test his medical samples, Russia was not being given the same access.

The photograph showed Navalny sitting up in bed and looking towards the camera, with his wife Yulia supporting him with her arms and their two children looking on.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny delivers a speech during a rally to demand the release of jailed protesters, who were detained during opposition demonstrations for fair elections, in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2019. Reuters file photo

The New York Times on Tuesday quoted a German security official as saying Navalny had spoken to a German prosecutor about the attempt on his life and said he planned to return to Russia as soon as he recovered.

Asked about the report, Peskov said: "Any citizen of the Russian Federation is free to leave Russia and return to Russia.”

If a citizen of the Russian Federation recovers his health, then of course everyone will be happy about that."

— Reuters

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