Person of the Week: Aleksei Navalny

Week-ending 25 September 2020

Aleksei Navalny

The Guardian, Monday, 21 September 2020: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said in his first blogpost since emerging from a coma that western laboratories had found traces of novichok in and on his body and demanded that Moscow return his clothes. Navalny, who is recovering in Berlin’s Charité hospital, fell critically ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow and spent two days in hospital in Russia before being airlifted to Germany. “Two independent laboratories in France and Sweden, and the Bundeswehr specialised laboratory confirmed the presence of novichok in and on my body,” he said, referring to a German military lab.

Meduza, 21 September 2020: September 19, 2020, marked the expiration date of the Russian authorities’ preliminary inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the sudden illness and hospitalization of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who is currently being treated for poisoning in Germany. At this point, Russia’s authorities were supposed to decide whether or not to launch a criminal case. So far, there’s no indication that Russia will pursue a criminal investigation: officials continue to claim that there’s no evidence that Navalny was poisoned.

RFE/RL, Wednesday, 23 September 2020: Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny has been discharged from the Berlin hospital where he was being treated for what Germany has said is a case of poisoning with a Soviet-style nerve agent. The 44-year-old anti-corruption campaigner posted on social media a picture of himself sitting on a park bench in the German capital after being released, adding that while he still doesn’t have full use of his left hand, he has started learning how to regain his balance by standing on one leg.

The Guardian, Thursday, 24 September 2020: Alexei Navalny’s bank accounts were frozen and his Moscow apartment seized as part of a lawsuit while the Russian opposition politician was recovering from a suspected poisoning in a Berlin hospital, his spokeswoman has said. His assets were seized on 27 August in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Moscow Schoolchild catering company, Kira Yarmysh said in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday. The politician and his allies have been involved in a long-running dispute with the company. “This means the flat cannot be sold, donated or mortgaged,” Yarmysh said.

RFE/RL, Friday, 25 September 2020: Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says he owes his life to the pilots who made an emergency landing when he collapsed on a flight last month, and to paramedics he said had quickly diagnosed poisoning and injected him with atropine. Navalny made the remarks in a September 25 Instagram post from Germany where he is recovering from what European experts have determined was poisoning with a Novichok-like nerve agent. “Thank you, unknown good-hearted friends. You are good people,” the 44-year-old Navalny wrote about those who acted quickly and thwarted “the plans of the killers.”

The Moscow Times, Saturday, 26 September 2020: Russia on Friday accused Germany of refusing to cooperate with it to establish the cause of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s illness as he continues to recover in Berlin. The 44-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption campaigner collapsed on a flight to Moscow from Siberia in what his allies say was a state-sanctioned poison attack. He was discharged from a hospital in Berlin this week after receiving treatment for a month. The foreign ministry said in a statement that doctors in Siberia had passed information to their colleagues in Berlin and that Russia was ready to collaborate for the sake of Navalny’s “speedy recovery”. “Unfortunately, in response we received a categorical refusal from the German government to cooperate in establishing the truth about the situation with Alexei Navalny,” the statement said.

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