Navalny Posts Picture From Berlin Hospital Bed, Says He ‘Generally Feels Like Himself’

September 15, 2020 10:20 GMT UPDATED September 15, 2020 11:17 GMT By RFE/RL’s Russian Service

Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny says he is able to breathe on his own and “generally” feels like himself as his recovery from being poisoned with a nerve agent continues.

“I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day,” Navalny said in a post on Instagram on September 15.

“Generally feel like myself. I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest aid in my throat,” he added in the caption, along with a photo showing him sitting up in bed.

Separately, Navalny’s spokeswoman tweeted that the anti-corruption campaigner and Kremlin critic plans to return to Russia from Germany. “I’ll confirm again to everyone: No other options were ever considered,” Kira Yarmysh wrote.

Navalny suddenly fell ill on a Russian domestic flight on August 20 and was medically evacuated to Germany on a request by his wife several days later. Doctors removed Navalny from a medically induced coma on September 7, saying that although his condition had improved it was unclear what long-term effects the “severe poisoning” would have on the 44-year-old opposition leader’s health.

German experts say the anti-corruption campaigner and Kremlin critic was poisoned with a Soviet-style military nerve agent from the Novichok group, prompting international calls on Russia to swiftly investigate the case.

On September 14, Germany said that two independent laboratories – one in Sweden and one in France — confirmed evidence that Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent.

Russian authorities, however, have refused to open a criminal investigation, saying that no hard evidence of poisoning has been found. Moscow reiterated on September 15 that it was open to getting to the bottom of what happened to Navalny, and that it would be happy if he recovered and returned to Russia from Germany.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that Moscow did not understand why, if French and Swedish laboratories had been able to test Navalny’s medical samples, why Russia wasn’t being given the same access.

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