Russian opposition leader able to breathe on his own, leave hospital bed after poisoning

Russian opposition leader able to breathe on his own, leave hospital bed after poisoning
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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. 

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European leaders have pressured Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Former intelligence agency director Robert Cardillo speaks out against 'erratic' Trump Kremlin: Putin calls for reset between US and Russia on cyber relations before elections 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 John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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.