Poisoned Russian opposition leader due to fly home

Poisoned Russian opposition leader due to fly home
Supporters of Mr Navalny plan to meet him at the airport. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Prominent Vladimir Putin critic and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is due back in Russia later on Sunday for the first time since he was nearly killed last year by an attack.

He says the authorities were behind the nerve agent attack on his life, an allegation backed up by investigative journalists but denied by the Kremlin.

The 44-year-old Russian opposition leader faces arrest on his return from Germany, where he has been receiving medical treatment.

But Mr Navalny has appealed to supporters to meet him off the flight.

A “Let’s meet Navalny” page has been set up on Facebook, with thousands of his supporters saying they will go or expressing a interest, despite forecasts of extreme cold.

He has said he is almost fully recovered from the attempted murder, that he misses Moscow and there was never any doubt that he would return.

Last August, he collapsed on an internal flight in Siberia and it later emerged he had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities have consistently denied any role behind the attack, and the Kremlin has rejected Mr Navalny’s claims that President Putin himself ordered it.

The Russian authorities have warned Alexei Navalny could face prison time after missing a prison service deadline in December to report at an office in Moscow.

The prison service accuses the Russin opposition figure of violating conditions imposed after a conviction for embezzlement, for which he received a suspended sentence.

Mr Navalny has always condemned the case as politically motivated.

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