Russian opposition leader Alexei Nalvany plans to return to Russia, according to his spokesperson. He was recently poisoned with a nerve agent and has been undergoing treatment at a German hospital for more than three weeks.
“It’s puzzling to me why anyone should think otherwise,” Navalny spokesperson Kira Yarmysh tweeted.
Nalvany took to Instagram Tuesday to post a photo with his wife and children from his hospital bed — the first photo of him publicly released since he was admitted to the hospital.
“Hi, this is Nalvany. I miss you,” he wrote in his post, according a Bloomberg translation. “I still can’t do practically anything. But yesterday I breathed on my own for the whole day. All by myself. No outside help, even didn’t use this valve in my throat.”
Navaly joked that breathing is “a surprising process, underestimated by many. I recommend it.”
Last month, the opposition leader fell unconscious on a commercial flight from Siberia to Moscow. His severe symptoms forced the plane to make an emergency landing in the city of Omsk, where he was initially hospitalized. Two days later, he was airlifted to the Charité Hospital in the German capital, Berlin, where doctors put him in a medically induced coma and onto a ventilator.
A German military laboratory has determined that Navalny had Novichok in his system, which is a Soviet-era nerve agent.
Charité released a statement last week announcing that Mr. Nalvany had come out of the medically induced coma. On Monday, the hospital said in a statement that he has been weaned off of a mechanical ventilator and is able to leave his bed for short periods.
The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the poisoning, though it has used Novichok in other high-profile incidents.
French and Swedish laboratories have reportedly also confirmed that the substance used to poison Nalvany is Novichok.
It’s not clear when Navalny plans to return to Russia.