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Putin critic Alexei Navalny is OUT of coma after Novichok poisoning

Putin critic Alexei Navalny is OUT of induced coma and responsive to doctors treating him for Novichok poisoning in Germany

  • Alexei Navalny, a fierce Putin critic, fell ill on a flight in Siberia on August 20
  • The 44-year-old was taken to a hospital in Berlin and was in an induced coma
  • German chemical weapons experts say he was poisoned with Novichok 
  • On Monday, doctors said he was out of an induced coma and is responsive

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive. 

Navalny, a fierce, high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany on August 22, two days after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia. 

German chemical weapons experts say tests show that the 44-year-old Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent, prompting the German government last week to demand that Russia investigate the case.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive

Berlin’s Charite hospital said Monday that Navalny’s condition has improved, allowing doctors to end the medically induced coma and gradually ease him off mechanical ventilation. 

‘He is responding to verbal stimuli,’ Charite hospital said in a statement, reporting that the 44-year-old’s condition ‘has improved’. 

It noted that he was responding to speech but ‘long-term consequences of the serious poisoning can still not be ruled out.’

The campaigner, an opponent of Vladimir Putin, is in a Berlin hospital after falling ill on a flight in Siberia

His associates claim he was poisoned while during a cup of tea at the airport, pictured

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s press secretary, says she suspects poison was added to the cup before he fell ill on a flight and was rushed to hospital

He has been in an induced coma in the Berlin hospital since he was flown to Germany for treatment.

German authorities said last week that tests showed ‘proof without doubt’ that he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. 

British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018. 

Tests showed he was poisoned with Novichok – the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in 2018.    

Navalny was unconscious when he was taken from the plane, and had to be put on a ventilator

British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018

German chancellor Angela Merkel said Mr Navalny’s poisoning was an attempt to silence one of President Putin’s fiercest critics.  

But Putin’s spokesman has brushed off allegations that the Kremlin was involved in poisoning Mr Navalny and said last week that Germany had not provided Moscow with any evidence about the politician’s condition.

Navalny is seen as Putin’s most charismatic and potentially dangerous foe.

He has faced constant legal attacks and has served a number of jail sentences.

His anti-corruption organisation was dubbed a ‘foreign agent’ by the Russian authorities.

Police have conducted repeated raids on his offices, and this is not the first time that Navalny has suffered a physical attack.

In 2017 he was left partially blind in one eye after attackers threw green dye used as a disinfectant at his face outside his office.

In August last year he suffered rashes and his face became swollen while he was in a police detention centre serving a short term for calling for illegal protests. 

He was taken to hospital where doctors said he had suffered an allergic reaction but Navalny asked for an investigation into poisoning. 

Navalny is the most popular and prominent opponent of President Vladimir Putin, and the German announcement this week that he was poisoned by a nerve agent has raised the possibility of further Western sanctions against Moscow. Alexei Navalny, pictured with his wife Yulia, has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side for years 

How Alexei Navalny has been punished for defying Putin

2011: Navalny is arrested and jailed for 15 days for ‘defying an official’ after leading protests in Moscow

2012: Jailed for 15 days after leading an anti-Putin protest in the wake of presidential elections. His apartment is subsequently raided, and some of his private emails posted online

2013: Put on trial for embezzlement, amid claims he tried to steal wood from a state-owned company. He is convicted and sentenced to five years, but allowed out on bail. The conviction is subsequently overturned 

2014: Placed under house arrest, again charged with embezzlement alongside brother Oleg. Again, the conviction is overturned

2017: He is re-convicted in the first corruption case, and ordered to repay millions of rubles of compensation in the second

While leaving his office, a pro-Kremlin activist throws green disinfectant dye in his face, partially blinding him

2018: Arrested twice for leading protests against presidential elections he was barred from running in. Jailed for a total of 50 days in jail

2019: Arrested and jailed for a total of 40 days for leading protests during Moscow Duma elections. While in jail he was rushed to hospital, suffering from what medics called an allergic reaction. Others believe he was poisoned 

2020: Navalny is rushed unconscious to hospital and placed on a ventilator after falling ill on a flight. His allies say he was poisoned 

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