Valdimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny released from German hospital after 32 days

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Berlin: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from a Berlin hospital. Alexei Navalny had been undergoing treatment for poisoning for more than a month. Doctors said that a ‘complete recovery’ from the Soviet-era nerve agent is possible for him, the hospital said Wednesday.

Navalny spent 32 days at the Charite Hospital here, 24 of them in intensive care. After that the doctors deemed his ‘condition had improved sufficiently for him to be discharged from acute inpatient care’.

As he was released Tuesday, the 44-year-old displayed his characteristic sarcastic sense of humor. In an Instagram post, he took swipe at Russian President Vladimir Putin. He scoffed at reported comments by the Russian leader that suggested Navalny might have intentionally poisoned himself.

Navalny is a politician and corruption investigator and is Putin’s most visible opponent. He was flown to Germany two days after falling ill August 20 on a domestic flight in Russia. He spent those two days in a coma in a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk. There the Russian doctors said they found no trace of any poisoning.

German chemical weapons experts have determined that he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. It is a finding corroborated by labs in France and Sweden.

The hospital said based on Navalny’s progress, physicians believe that a ‘complete recovery is possible’. However it added it ‘remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning’.

In recent days, Navalny has been posting regular photos of his convalescence from the hospital on Instagram. One showed him sitting up in his bed surrounded by his family, then up and about in the building.

In his post Tuesday night, he laughed off a report in the French newspaper Le Monde. The report said that Putin suggested to French President Emmanuel Macron in a call that Navalny ‘could have taken the poison himself’. “Good theory, I believe it deserves the most careful attention,” Navalny wrote in Russian.

““Cooked Novichok in the kitchen. Took a sip from a flask on the plane. Fell into a coma. The ultimate aim of my cunning plan must have been to die in Siberia, where the cause of death would be lived long enough,” Navalny said.

“But Putin outmaneuvered me. You can’t fool him. As a result, I lay in coma for 18 days like a fool, but didn’t get my way. The provocation failed!” he added.

Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than two weeks as he was treated with an antidote. Members of his team accused the Kremlin of involvement in the poisoning, charges that Russian officials have vehemently denied.

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