- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin for reportedly indicating that he had poisoned himself.
- “A good copy. I think it deserves more careful study. Novichuk cooked in the kitchen. I took a small sip of my bottle on the plane. I fell into a coma,” Navalny said in a post on Instagram.
- Navalny, Putin’s most prominent opponent, was exposed to Novichok nerve gas poisoning last month.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call that his great opponent, Alexei Navalny, may have poisoned himself with the deadly nerve gas Novichok, according to French newspaper Le Monde.
Navalny mocked Putin over the suggestion, which appeared in an Instagram post.
“Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart: Navalny could have ingested the poison himself,” Navalny wrote in the caption.
“A good copy. I think it deserves the most careful study. Novichuk cooked in the kitchen. I took a small sip of my bottle on the plane. I fell into a coma,” he said.
The anti-corruption activist was discharged from a German hospital on Wednesday after a 32-day stay. Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow in August. His aides immediately suspected he had been poisoned.
Russian authorities initially prevented Novichok from leaving the country as he received initial treatment in a Siberian hospital. But Navalny was eventually transferred to a German hospital, where doctors discovered the Novichok nerve gas in his system.
Novichok was used to poison other Russian dissidents. Putin’s critics and opponents are routinely poisoned, and some have been killed.
World leaders demanded Russia’s responses to the incident, but the Kremlin denied any involvement. President Donald Trump has faced criticism for his relative silence on the issue, and his general reluctance to stand up to the Russian government.
Navalny is a prominent critic of Putin in Russia, and has faced harassment by the Russian government for years. Despite this, and his recent intoxication that brought him into a coma, Navalny’s aides indicated that he intended to return to Russia.