Alexei Navalny Accuses Putin of Ordering Novichok Attack

MOSCOW—Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny blamed President Vladimir Putin for his poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent and promised to return to Moscow to battle for political transform in Russia.

The opposition politician, who has accumulated an tremendous on-line subsequent with exposes of Kremlin-connected corruption, claimed he was poisoned with a new variety of Novichok and that the limited nature of the nerve agent created it very clear the Kremlin was driving his attack. The remarkably potent toxin can only be developed at particular labs and at a specific temperature, in accordance to experts who served build the poison.

“I believe Putin is individually driving the attack on me,” he claimed on his web-site on Thursday.

The assertion arrived several hours just after a German magazine revealed Mr. Navalny’s initial account of the occasions encompassing his poisoning in late August.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a assembly through online video meeting in the Black Sea vacation resort of Sochi on Monday.


Alexei Druzhinin/Connected Push

“I will not give Putin the reward of not returning to Russia,” Mr. Navalny explained to Der Spiegel in the interview revealed Thursday. “I do not want to be an opposition leader in exile.”

Mr. Navalny’s poisoning has spotlighted Russia’s political opposition and the challenges it has faced below Mr. Putin’s twenty-calendar year rule, and threatens to become yet another geopolitical flashpoint in relations concerning Moscow and the West.

Experts in Germany, France and Sweden have claimed Mr. Navalny was poisoned—a conclusion disputed by the Kremlin. Western governments have pushed Moscow to open up an investigation into Mr. Navalny’s sickness, but Moscow has refused to do so until finally authorities in Germany, where he was flown for cure when comatose, share extra proof.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Mr. Navalny’s accusation was unfounded and unacceptable.

“We want to examine what happened, but to do that we will need extra information,” Mr. Peskov explained to reporters at a briefing Thursday. He claimed Mr. Navalny was very likely functioning with Western intelligence, a claim normally leveled at the opposition politician.

Mr. Navalny ridiculed the comments on his web-site Thursday.

“My initial response was a healthy child’s chuckle,” he claimed, including that he would file a lawsuit versus Mr. Peskov and demand that the Kremlin publishes proof of his alleged “work with CIA professionals.”

Recounting the past minutes in advance of he fell unconscious to the German magazine, Mr. Navalny claimed he felt no agony but was persuaded he was dying. He claimed his days now consist of walks in a Berlin park, physiotherapy and expending time on social media in the evening.

When asked why he was poisoned, he claimed he considered the place for political dissent has shrunk to this sort of an extent in Russia that poison, a tool when reserved for traitors, could be used versus a reputable opposition determine.

Mr. Navalny claimed the Kremlin wished to crack down on its domestic enemies just after anti-Kremlin protests erupted in Russia’s Considerably East in July and are continue to ongoing.

Mr. Putin is also troubled by huge antigovernment street protests in Belarus versus his ally, President Alexander Lukashenko, subsequent disputed elections in August, analysts have claimed. The past detail Mr. Putin would like is for an authoritarian leader in his yard to be toppled by the variety of men and women electrical power that Mr. Navalny is able of rallying, they claimed.

“Something in Putin’s head has modified,” the opposition leader claimed. “The fact has modified.”

A online video demonstrates Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s workforce looking a lodge place where he stayed in advance of getting poisoned by Novichok. Supporters say they identified traces of the nerve agent as tension will increase on Moscow to examine. WSJ’s Thomas Grove experiences. Photo: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters (Initially revealed Sept. 18, 2020)

Generate to Thomas Grove at [email protected]

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Appeared in the Oct 2, 2020, print version as ‘Navalny Blames Putin for Poisoning, Pledges to Go House.’