Berlin, 15 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) — Russian dissident Alexei Navalny greeted the public on Tuesday with his first post on a social network since he was near-fatally poisoned with a chemical weapon last month.
“Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you. Still I can do almost nothing, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own for the whole day,” Navalny said in a post on his Instagram account, which has 1.7 million followers.
Navalny had been on a ventilator system for weeks after being poisoned with the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok while on a campaign trip in Siberia. He is being treated at Berlin’s Charite hospital.
In the photo, Navalny was sitting up in his hospital bed next to his wife, Yulia, her face beaming with a broad smile. Navalny, 44, was woken from his medically induced coma last week.
Navalny had fallen ill on a flight from the Russian city of Tomsk en route to Moscow on Aug. 20. The airliner made an emergency landing, and he was hospitalized in the Russian city of Omsk. Two days later he was medically evacuated to Berlin.
Separate tests in France, Germany and Sweden have concluded that he was poisoned with a form of Novichok. European leaders have demanded an explanation from the Kremlin, which denies any involvement.
Navalny had been in Tomsk to support local political opposition efforts ahead of elections that were held this past weekend.
Two of Navalny’s close allies, Ksenia Fadeyeva and Andrei Fateyev, were elected to the Tomsk city legislature, and the dominant United Russia party lost its majority there.