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Today:  Saturday, 19 September, 2020

International

Alexei Navalny continues to improve, say German doctors

19:40, Monday, 14 September, 2020
Alexei Navalny continues to improve, say German doctors

The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been taken off a ventilator and is able to leave his bed for short periods of time, German doctors who have been treating him for novichok poisoning have said.

In a significant update, the Charité hospital in Berlin said Navalny’s condition “continues to improve” and hinted that he was able to talk. It said latest news of his health was made public after consultation with Navalny and his wife.

German medics have cautioned it is too early to say whether Navalny will make a full recovery. But the fact that he is out of a medically induced coma and able to walk a little is the most positive sign to date.

Navalny collapsed on 20 August after drinking a cup of tea at Tomsk airport in Siberia. He was flown from Russia to Berlin two days later and has spent more than three weeks hooked up to a ventilator. He was unconscious while doctors treated him with the antidote atropine.

Navalny’s aides welcomed the news from Berlin. His press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, said the opposition leader had been “completely disconnected” from a ventilator and could stand up.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, revealed earlier this month that Navalny was poisoned with novichok, a lethal Russian nerve agent that was also used in March 2018 against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, south-west England. Merkel and other world leaders have called on Russia to provide answers and to carry out a transparent investigation.

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