Russian opposition leader Navalny poisoned by Novichok – conclusion of German authorities
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is being treated in a Berlin clinic, was poisoned with chemical warfare agent from the Novichok group.
This was announced by the German government, referring to the results of analyses carried out by the German military. The German authorities expect from Russia an ‘immediate explanation’ of the attempt on the opposition leader.
“On the instructions of the Charite University Hospital in Berlin, the laboratory of the Bundeswehr (the German Armed Forces) conducted toxicological studies on samples taken from Alexei Navalny. Experts unequivocally found traces of the use of a nerve agent from the Novichok group, Russian media outlet Novaya Gazeta quoted the official statement of the German government as saying.
Chancellor Merkel and members of the German government held a meeting on this issue today and agreed on further steps, the report says.
“The fact that Alexei Navalny was a victim of a chemical warfare attack in Russia is a shocking event. The German Federal Government condemns this attack in the strictest terms. The Russian government should immediately explain itself in connection with the incident,” the German government says.
The country’s Foreign Ministry also informed the Russian ambassador, and also informed the partners in the EU and NATO about the research results.
Germany intends to work out an appropriate response together with partners.
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What is Novichok?
In March 2018, in the English city of Salisbury, an attempt was made on the life of the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Thanks to the intervention of doctors, they were saved.
As established by the investigation, during the assassination attempt, nerve agent Novichok was used, which was developed and produced in the Soviet Union.
Three weeks later, a woman died in Salisbury, her companion was injured. This happened after the couple found a bottle of perfume in a dumpster, which contained traces of the powerful nerve agent.
According to the British police, officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov were involved in the attempt on the Skripals.
Poisoning of Navalny
On the morning of August 20, Alexei Navalny felt ill while on a plane. He was hospitalized from Omsk airport with symptoms of severe poisoning.
According to the politician’s press secretary, that morning Navalny drank tea at the Tomsk airport; he did not eat or drink anything else that morning.
After an examination, the doctors of the hospital in Omsk stated that they had not found any poisons in the politician’s blood, but at the same time they could not make an accurate diagnosis.
Relatives and friends of the politician were able to have him transported to Germany: on August 22, he was taken by plane to Berlin, to the Charite clinic.
He is still in an artificial coma. According to doctors, there is no threat to his life, but it is still difficult to talk about the consequences of the poisoning.
Reaction: “They know it’s Putin”
Vladimir Milov, a Russian opposition leader and associate of Navalny, believes that, unlike in past cases in the poisoning of Putin’s opponents, this time no one doubts who ordered the assassination.
“The characteristic difference between the situation with the poisoning of Navalny is that this time practically everyone in the world – politicians, the press, commentators – unanimously say that the poisoner is Putin. There is no doubt about it. He will not clean himself up after that,” the politician wrote on Facebook.