Novichok on water bottle suggests Navalny poisoned pre-airport, aides say

Novichok on water bottle suggests Navalny poisoned pre-airport, aides say
The Russian opposition leader fell ill on August 20, on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Traces of poison were found on a bottle of water from the hotel room in Siberia where Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny stayed before falling ill, his team said Thursday. Aides say this might be Novichok.

Despite this, a member of Navalny’s team told that the water bottle was not necessarily the item used to poison the vocal critic of President Putin, suggesting the substance could have been placed on a different object.

Georgy Alburov, who works at Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said: “As we understand, the bottle was not the source of this poisonous substance but more likely as he drank from it … his mouth … left traces of [the poison] on the bottle.”

He added: “We are guided by what the experts have said, which is that there was a small amount [of the substance], most likely just a trace of it [on the bottle].”

The German government has said Mr Navalny was poisoned with a chemical agent from the Novichok group, a conclusion supported by two other labs in Sweden and France.

The Russian opposition leader fell ill on August 20, on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Alburov said Mr Navalny had remained in the Siberian city with several colleagues for an extra day to finish an investigative report on a local official.

He said news of his condition reached the group while they were having breakfast in the hotel, and that he and his colleagues then managed to get access to Navalny’s room to collect his personal items before it was cleaned.

Alburov said: “Just knowing the political history of Russia and knowing the state of Alexey’s health, it could not have been anything else but poisoning.”

Navalny’s issue caught international attention and critics said that Vladimir Putin might be behind this, but the Kremlin denied the accusation.

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