Poisoned Putin critic Alexei Navalny ‘will return to Russia’

Poisoned Putin critic Alexei Navalny 'will return to Russia'
Alexei Navalny posted on Instagram from his hospital bed in Germany. Source: Navalny
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Daily US Times: The poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is to return to Russia, his spokeswoman has said on Tuesday.

In a tweet, Kira Yarmysh said: “It’s puzzling to me why anyone should think otherwise.”

Mr Navalny, who is a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also posted a picture on Instagram for the first time since he was poisoned, announcing that he was breathing free of ventilation.

On 20 August, he collapsed on a flight from Siberia and tests have shown he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

He was later transferred to the Charité hospital in the German capital, Berlin.

Mr Navalny’s team alleges he was poisoned on the orders of Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin denies any involvement.

Ms Yarmysh wrote: “All morning journalists have been writing to me and asking, is it true that Alexei plans to return to Russia?”

“Again I can confirm to everyone: no other options were ever considered,” she added.

The announcement came shortly after Alexei Navalny took to Instagram.

He wrote: “Hi, this is Navalny. I have been missing you. I still can’t do much, but yesterday I managed to breathe on my own for the entire day.”

“Just on my own, no extra help, not even a valve in my throat. I liked it very much. It’s a remarkable process that is underestimated by many. Strongly recommended,” he added.

The BBC has reported that there is a modest police presence outside the hospital where Mr Navalny is being treated and there are two armed officers by one entrance and a police van that has been stationed outside for days.

Two further armed police units have been set up inside – outside the ward and by the politician’s bed, unconfirmed reports in German media suggest.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has ruled out a meeting between Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Putin after the opposition figure recovers.

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