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Russian Poisoning Victim Blames Putin, Says He Plans To Return To Russia

By Mary Rose Corkery

Russian government critic Alexei Navalny said that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a poisoning attempt on his life, according to outlet Der Spiegel.

Navalny was transferred to a Berlin hospital after he became sick on a flight in Russia where the German government said tests found he was poisoned from a Novichok nerve agent, Reuters reported. Navalny publicly appeared in September for the first time hospitalization.

“I assert that Putin was behind the crime, and I have no other explanation for what happened. I’m not saying this out of self-flattery, but based on the facts,” Navalny said during an interview with Der Spiegel.

“The most important fact is Novichok. The order to use or produce it can only come from two men – the head of the FSB or the head of SWR, the foreign intelligence service,” Navalny said, according to Der Spiegel.

“If you’re familiar with the Russian reality, then you also know that FSB head Alexander Bortnikov, SVR head Naryshkin or the head of the GRU cannot make a decision like that without being instructed by Putin,” Navalny continued. “They report to him.”

Navalny also said during the Der Spiegel interview that “probably also the GRU” was involved and added that Putin’s assertion that Navalny poisoned himself was impossible.

Navalny has reportedly stated he wishes to return to Russia and told Der Spiegel, “I was pleased that no one in my circles even thought that I wouldn’t return. Not going back would mean that Putin has won and achieved his goal.”

“And my job now is to remain the guy who isn’t afraid. And I’m not afraid! When my hands shake, it’s not from fear,” he continued.

The Kremlin said “such accusations against the Russian president are absolutely groundless and unacceptable,” according to The Associated Press.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said to reporters: “Some of these statements in the mentioned publication we consider offensive,” according to the AP. Peskov also said there is information that says Navalny has currently been collaborating with CIA “specialists,” who are handing him instructions, according to the AP.

“There is information that these instructors are working with him these days,” Peskov said, according to the AP.

“Instructions the patient is receiving are obvious. We have seen such lines of behavior more than once,” Peskov continued, according to the AP.

The British government said Kremlin was responsible for using the same poison on two others, a former double agent and his daughter, in 2018, according to Reuters. The Soviet Union developed the poison in the late 20th century.

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