Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader hospitalized earlier this year after an alleged assassination attempt, has reportedly seen his condition improve to the point where he is able to briefly leave his hospital bed under his own strength.
Doctors at the German hospital where Navalny is recuperating said Monday that he is continuing to regain his strength, according to The Associated Press, while German authorities reportedly confirmed that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent used previously in an attempted assassination of an ex-Russian spy in the U.K.
Navalny has “successfully been removed from mechanical ventilation," doctors reportedly said.
European leaders have pressured Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich Putin Putin says dozens of staffers infected with COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails Overnight Hillicon Valley — Ex-US intel operatives pay to settle hacking charges MORE to answer for the poisoning in recent days; Navalny is an active critic of Putin's administration and corruption in Moscow.
Russia's foreign ministry has denied any attempts to link the poisoning to Putin, who formerly served as an officer of Russia's KGB secret police, accusing western diplomats of using the situation as an excuse to levy further sanctions against Russia's economy.
“The perfect action of pilots, ambulance crew and doctors is being presented as a ‘happy coincidence,’” said Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, according to the AP.
“They dare to question the professionalism of our doctors, our investigators,” he added. “Arrogance and a sense of one’s own infallibility have been seen in Europe before, and the consequences were very sad.”
President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE has yet to blame Russia for the incident, telling reporters earlier in September that he would be "very angry" were he to see proof linking Putin to the assassination attempt.
“We haven’t had any proof yet,” Trump told White House reporters during a news briefing.
“I would be very angry if that’s the case, so we’ll take a look at the numbers and the documents, because we’re going to be sent a lot of documents over the next few days,” he added.