Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday said that he was able to breathe unaided in his first public comments after his suspected poisoning, while his aide said that Navalvy planned to return from Germany to Russia once recovered.
“Hello, this is Navalny,” he wrote in a post on Instagram that accumulated more than 1 million “likes” in a few hours.
Supporters saluted what they said was the 44-year-old’s return from the dead.
Taking to social media for the first time since he fell seriously ill in Siberia on Aug. 20, Navalny posted a picture, appearing with his wife and two children in the Berlin hospital where he was flown for treatment.
Wearing a hospital gown and sitting up in bed, he looked gaunt and barely smiled, while his wife Yulia beamed next to him.
The outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin collapsed on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow after a trip to support opposition candidates in local elections.
German experts say that there is “unequivocal evidence” that Russia’s most prominent opposition figure was poisoned with Novichok, a potent nerve agent. Moscow has dismissed the findings, saying its doctors found no trace of the poison.
“Yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day,” Navalny wrote. “It’s an amazing process and underestimated by many. I recommend it.”
Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said separately that the opposition leader planned to return to Russia.
“No other option has ever been considered,” she said.
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