The German hospital that treated Aleksei Navalny has posted its final statement on the case of the Russian dissident’s acute illness, saying he was poisoned with the chemical nerve agent Novichok.
Navalny became violently ill while on a domestic flight in Russia on August 20 and was initially treated at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk for two days before being flown to Germany for emergency treatment.
In an article published in The Lancet medical journal on December 23, doctors at Berlin’s Charite hospital detailed symptoms observed as Navalny was admitted into their care.
“A laboratory of the German armed forces designated by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons identified an organophosphorus nerve agent from the Novichok group in blood samples collected immediately after the patient’s admission to Charite,” the report said.
Navalny, 44, only narrowly survived the poisoning, the German hospital team said.
“His good health status before the poisoning probably favored his recovery,” the report said.
Laboratories from several Western countries have determined that Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, which only Russian authorities can administer.
The claim has been repeatedly denied by Moscow.
The Lancet publication came just two days after Navalny published a video of what he said was a telephone conversation with an alleged member of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), who says agents placed the poison in his underpants while Navalny was traveling in Siberia.
Navalny said he impersonated an official in the Kremlin’s Security Council to get the FSB agent to admit to the poisoning.