Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Shares First Photo Since He Was Poisoned
"I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day," the politician wrote on Instagram
Alexei Navalny is breathing on his own weeks after he was poisoned, the Russian opposition leader shared on Instagram Tuesday.
Navalny, 44, shared an update on the social media site along with a photo of himself from the hospital in Germany.
"Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you," the politician wrote in Russian.
"I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day," Navalny continued. "Just myself. I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. I liked it very much. An amazing, underestimated process by many. Recommended."
Navalny was flown to the Charité hospital in Berlin on August 22 for treatment after he fell into a coma while in Siberia, the New York Times previously reported. It was later determined that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and '80s, according to the BBC.
Navalny's poisoning came just weeks before the country's municipal elections on September 13.
On Monday, one of Navalny's security officials told the New York Times that the politician, a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, was "fully aware of his condition."
"He’s fully aware of his condition, he’s fully aware of what happened and he’s fully aware of where he is," the official said, adding that Navalny is "not planning to go into exile in Germany. He wants to go home to Russia and he wants to continue his mission."
Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's press secretary, told CNN on Monday that he plans to return to Russia once he is recovered, and that "no other option was ever considered."
German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said in a statement that the use of Novichok is a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Times reported.
"Three laboratories have now independently provided evidence of a substance from the Novichok group as the cause of Mr. Navalny’s poisoning," Seibert said, adding, "we renew the call for Russia to explain what has happened."
There has been international pressure on the Kremlin to explain how Navalny was poisoned, but Russian officials have repeatedly pushed back, the Times reported.