Russian Opposition Leader Poisoned

The Russian activist and leader of the movement to replace Putin, Alexei

Navalny, has left Berlin’s Charité hospital after spending 32 days as an

inpatient, after having been poisoned with a Russian nerve agent. Doctors

say he will make a full recovery.




The hospital said in a statement on Wednesday morning that the Russian

opposition politician’s condition had “improved sufficiently for him to be

discharged from acute inpatient care”, and added that he had left on

Tuesday.


“Based on the patient’s progress and current condition, the treating

physicians believe that complete recovery is possible,” the statement said,

adding that it was still not clear what the potential long-term effects of the

poison would be.


In a new post on Instagram on Wednesday, Navalny said that looking in the

mirror, he thought he now resembled a character in Lord of the Rings

character. He thanked the German doctors for their “unbelievable work”

and said he had asked to go somewhere “with trees” for rehabilitation and

daily physiotherapy.


“There are several funny things going on. For example, I can’t throw a ball

with my left hand. I can catch it, but not throw it, my brain doesn’t want to

make this movement.”


He said a neurologist had told him to improve his mental functions again he

should read, write on social media and play video games, and said he was

keen to acquire a PlayStation 5.


Navalny arrived in Berlin two days after he fell ill on a plane from Tomsk in

Siberia to Moscow. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where

he spent two days being treated by local doctors, who said they found no

evidence of poisoning. Privately, doctors there told media outlets they

believed it was poisoning.


The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said laboratory tests “confirmed

unequivocally” that a novichok nerve agent had been used on Navalny.

German authorities say French and Swedish laboratories had confirmed

their findings.


Navalny’s supporters who hope that he can replace Putin as President of

Russia, have claimed that Putin was responsible for Navalny being poisoned.


Key terms:


1. Poison

2. Opposition

3. Russian nerve agent

4. Neurologist

5. Novichok


Key questions:


1. Why would someone poison Navalny?

2. How will this affect Germany’s relationship with Russia?

3. What hope does Navalny have to replace Putin?

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