- “I believe that Putin is behind the crime and I don't have any other versions of what happened.”
- The Russian doctors have all along maintained that no substance was found to lead to an ultimate conclusion that Navalny had been a victim of poisoning.
- His family and supporters, however, maintain that the youthful politician was a victim of poisoning.
Russia’s firebrand opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, has directly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being solely behind his recent poisoning. “I believe that Putin is behind the crime and I don’t have any other versions of what happened,” Navalny told Der Spiegel.
His interview with the German newspaper was published on Thursday. Navalny, 44, suddenly fell ill on August 20 while on a plane while returning from a trip through several cities in Siberia to prepare with his team for the local elections that were held at the beginning of September.
The aircraft he had boarded was forced to make an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk, where he was rushed to a local hospital while in a critical condition. Two days later he was airlifted to the Charité university hospital in Berlin, Germany.
The Russian doctors have all along maintained that no substance was found to lead to an ultimate conclusion that Navalny had been a victim of poisoning, and they described what happened as a “metabolic disorder.”
The Kremlin further stated that before he was sent to Germany, a series of tests were taken from Navalny, but no traces of poisons were found in his body. His family and supporters, however, maintain that the youthful politician was a victim of poisoning, and have all along blamed the Russian authorities of being behind the heinous act.
The German government reported in early September that a military laboratory had determined that in the patient’s body there were remains of a chemical agent of the Novichok class. The former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned with Novichok in March 2018.
The pair were in the British city of Salisbury. For the British government, the main suspect in this attack was the GRU, Russian military espionage, something that Moscow has always denied.
In the interview with the German newspaper, Navalny described the action of the neurotoxin as follows: “You don’t feel pain, but you know that you are dying.” Navalny reiterated that he remains willing to return to Russia despite what happened. “Not returning would mean that Putin has achieved his aim. And my job now is to stay the guy who’s not afraid,”
Two other independent laboratories in France and Sweden confirmed that Navalny was indeed poisoned, and western countries such as Germany and France have asked the Kremlin for explanations.
However, Russia does not share the diagnosis of poisoning, and has rejected the accusations of the Navalny team. In addition, Moscow states that its intention is to cooperate, but to do so, it argues that Germany must share the results and samples of the analyses carried out on the politician at the time when he was receiving treatment in Berlin.