Navalny discharged from hospital, ‘complete recovery’ possible

Navalny discharged from hospital, ‘complete recovery’ possible

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has been discharged from Berlin’s Charite hospital, where he was receiving treatment for severe poisoning, doctors said on Wednesday.

The hospital said Navalny’s condition had “improved sufficiently” and that he was discharged from acute inpatient care on Tuesday.

The opposition activist, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics, fell ill on a domestic flight on August 20, before being transported to Germany for treatment two days later.

Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden have found that Navalny was poisoned with a chemical weapon from the Soviet-developed Novichok group. The Kremlin denies any involvement.

Navalny spent 24 of his 32 days at the Charite in intensive care, a statement from the hospital said.

“Based on the patient’s progress and current condition, the physicians treating him believe that complete recovery is possible. However, it remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning,” it added.

Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, said last week that Navalny intended to return to Russia to continue to support political opposition efforts. No date for his potential return has been announced.

Navalny is believed to have been poisoned in the Siberian city of Tomsk, where he was on a campaign trip to support opposition candidates preparing for local elections.

Two of those candidates, Ksenia Fadeyeva and Andrei Fateyev, were subsequently elected to the Tomsk city legislature, while the dominant United Russia political party, most closely associated with Putin, lost its majority in the assembly.

Shortly after Navalny fell ill, close allies in Tomsk went to the hotel room where he had been staying and gathered items that could serve as potential evidence of a crime, on the suspicion that local authorities would not properly investigate.

A water bottle removed from the hotel room tested positive for Novichok in a German laboratory, Navalny’s team has announced.

Novichok was also used in the near-fatal poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the southern English city of Salisbury two years ago.

Russia has not opened a criminal case into the Navalny incident, saying that domestic authorities have found no hard evidence of a crime. Russian health officials have concluded that Navalny’s condition was caused by a metabolism problem.

The Kremlin has denied any link to Navalny’s sudden deterioration in health, amid international calls for a full and transparent investigation from the European Union and others.

The European Parliament issued a resolution last week declaring that the use of a poison from the Novichok group strongly suggests that Russian authorities were behind the attack.