World 'You are good people:' Navalny thanks Russian pilots, medics
Navalny's team says nerve agent used to poison him found on hotel room bottle
Traces of the Novichok nerve agent used to poison Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny were found on a bottle in his hotel room in Siberia, his team said. The discovery suggests that Navalny was poisoned before he left the hotel and not at the airport, where they initially suspected he might have ingested the poison through a cup of tea.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in Germany recovering from what authorities there determined to be nerve agent poisoning, thanked Russian pilots and paramedics for acting quickly after he fell into a coma on a flight from Siberia.
Navalny,and spent nearly three weeks in a coma, said in an Instagram post on Friday that pilots “quickly landed the plane in Omsk” and medical workers at the airport “jammed a dose of atropine" into him, immediately recognizing “a toxic poisoning.”
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“Thank you, unknown good-hearted friends. You are good people," the 44-year-old politician wrote under a photo of him hugging his wife Yulia.
After 48 hours in a hospital in Omsk, where Russian doctors said they found no trace of any poisoning, Navalny was transferred to the Charite hospital in Berlin. German chemical weapons experts determined that— findings corroborated by labs in France and Sweden.
Navalny,, was earlier this week. Charite hospital said that based on Navalny’s progress, physicians believe a “complete recovery is possible.”
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State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said foreign operators such as German intelligence agents may have poisoned the Kremlin critic.State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin linked the case of Navalny, who is being treated at the Charité hospital in Berlin, with the crisis in Belarus where Alexander Lukashenko faces a wave of discontent with protests following his disputed election victory.
Russian authorities have been resisting the international pressure to launch a criminal investigation, saying no trace of poisonous substances has been found in Navalny's system and demanding Germany, France and Sweden to share their findings.
The Russian delegation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons sent a note to Germany on Wednesday, requesting “comprehensive information on the so-called Navalny case," including “test results, biological materials and other clinical samples” to be provided within 10 days.
German government spokeswoman Martina Fietz confirmed Friday that the Germany mission to the OPCW received the note. The mission will respond in keeping with rules that provide for a 10-day deadline, Fietz said.
“But let me repeat again what we have said here repeatedly in the past: Russia already has everything necessary to be able to conduct investigations itself,” Fietz added. She once again pointed out that German, Swedish and French labs have confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, and that the OPCW has taken samples.
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Navalny has remained in Germany to undergo rehabilitation after being released from the hospital, which may take weeks, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said Thursday. Nevertheless, he planned to return to Russia at some point, according to his allies.
Navalny’s team blamed the Kremlin for the poisoning, claims which officials brushed off.
In Friday's Instagram post, the politician said that “a series of happy coincidences and sharp actions” by pilots and medical workers sabotaged what Navalny said was “the plan of the killers.”
“I was supposed to fall sick 20 minutes after takeoff, and in another 15 minutes lose consciousness. There was guaranteed to be no access to medical help and in another hour I would continue travelling in a black plastic bag on the last row of seats, scaring all passengers going to the bathroom," the politician wrote.
“Everything that happened next was very dramatic and deserves a separate story, but there would have been nothing to tell if not for these guys."
Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.
Video: Alexei Navalny discharged from Berlin hospital after poisoning (CBS News)
Poisoned Russian opposition leader released from German hospital
It's not yet clear whether Alexei Navalny could suffer long-term effects from the Novichok nerve agent, but he's already back to mocking Putin.Navalny fell violently ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20. After several days in a Russian clinic he was transferred to Germany, where lab tests determined that he had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. Independent labs in Sweden and France confirmed the finding, and an investigation by the global chemical weapons watchdog agency, the OPCW, is ongoing.
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The Russian opposition campaigner told Der Spiegel Vladimir Putin was behind his Novichok attack, which the Kremlin has dismissed.The anti-corruption campaigner spent 16 days in a coma after he fell ill on a flight on August 20. He had been transferred from a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk to Charité hospital in Berlin. He is now recovering in the German capital.