Navalny accuses Putin of being behind his poisoning – news report
BERLIN — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accused President Vladimir Putin of being behind his poisoning, in his first interview published since he left the German hospital where he was treated.
“I assert that Putin is behind this act, I don’t see any other explanation,” he told the German weekly Der Spiegel, which published extracts from the interview on its website Thursday.
Navalny collapsed last month while on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow after a campaign trip to support opposition candidates in local elections.
Russian doctors who first treated him said their tests did not find any toxic substances.
The 44-year-old Kremlin critic was evacuated to Berlin on August 22 in a coma and on mechanical ventilation.
Germany said toxicology tests show he was poisoned by the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. France and Sweden have independently corroborated Germany’s findings.
The Kremlin has denied allegations of involvement in the poisoning and accused Western leaders of launching a disinformation campaign over the opposition leader’s illness.
Navalny was finally discharged after a month from Berlin’s Charite hospital, with doctors saying he could make a full recovery.
The Kremlin critic has been active on social media since being brought out of the coma.
Posting a photograph of himself sitting on a Berlin bench, Navalny said on Instagram last week he was far from fully recovered and would require rehabilitation.
“The plans are always simple: a physiotherapist every day. Possibly a rehabilitation center. Stand on one leg. Take back control of my fingers completely. Maintain balance,” he wrote.
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