Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed in Germany on Tuesday, looking horrified but alert, saying he was finally happy to finally breathe on his own after drinking poison with a nerve agent.
The 44 – year – old was taken to a charity hospital in Berlin two days after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia on August 20.
“Hi, this is a novel,” he wrote in a Russian language post. “I miss you. I can not make it bigger yet, but yesterday I sucked on my own all day.”
Navalny was placed in a coma with an adversary because he was treated with an antidote, and hospital officials said a week ago that his condition had improved enough to bring him out.
On Monday, the hospital said he had been removed from mechanical ventilation and was able to get out of his bed “for a short time”.
In the photo, Navalny is given a hug by his wife Yulia and his two children are surrounded while sitting upright on his bed in a hospital gown, and his statement also includes a ring of his famous satire.
“On my own, there was no extra help, not even the use of a simple valve in my throat,” he said he could breathe without ventilation. “I loved it. It’s a great process that many people underestimate. Highly recommended.”
Although he has recovered, doctors say the chronic health problems associated with the poisoning cannot be ruled out.
Navalny’s spokesman, Leonid Volkov, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Navalny had refused to give any details on the situation or possible plans after his recovery.
A German military laboratory has confirmed that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agents that Britain says was used on a former Russian spy. Sergei Skripal and his daughter In Salisbury, England in 2018. The German government said on Monday that independent tests of laboratories in France and Sweden had confirmed its results.
The Hague-based agency for the ban on chemical weapons also said it would take steps to test samples from Navalny in its designated laboratories.
Merkel, Macron poison ‘criminal act’
The Kremlin called for answers to questions about the poisoning of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders, denying official involvement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the West of using the incident as an excuse to introduce new sanctions against Moscow.
The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said it was “deeply concerned” that Navalny was being targeted directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Listen | On the toxic history of Alexei Navalny and Russian activists:
The Kremlin said in the call that Putin “emphasized the seriousness of the baseless allegations against Russia” and demanded that Russia hand over the analysis and samples to Germany. Putin called on German and Russian doctors to work together.
Berlin rejected suggestions from Moscow in sharing the evidence.
When Germany’s research is confirmed by laboratories abroad, “those who bring bad news – against us – we do not expect more attacks, but they should deal with the news,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Moss told Russian officials on Monday.
Asked if any samples from Navalny had been given to Russia, he said, “Mr. Navalny has been in Russian treatment in the hospital for 48 hours.”
Russian doctors who treated Navalny in Omsk said no evidence of poisoning had been found.