Alexei Navalny announces he can now walk with a 'tremble'

USA World
Alexei Navalny in his hospital bed
Alexei Navalny in his hospital bed

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s leading opposition figure, revealed on Saturday that he is now able to walk following his suspected poisoning with Novichok nerve agent.

The Putin critic posted a photograph to Instagram of himself walking down the stairs, captioning it that he could now walk with a “tremble”.

“Quite recently, I did not recognize people and did not understand how to talk,” Navalny wrote. 

“Every morning the doctor came to me and said: Alexey, I brought a board, let’s figure out which word we can write on it. This drove me to despair because although I understood in general what the doctor wanted, I did not understand where to get the words from.

“Now I’m a guy whose legs are shaking when he walks up the stairs, but this guy thinks: ‘Oh, this is a staircase! People get up on these. Perhaps we should look for an elevator.’ And before, I would have just stood there and stared at it blankly,” the post added.

Mr Navalny, 44, fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow a month ago and was airlifted to Berlin’s Charite hospital after two days in a Russian hospital.

His supporters and many European leaders say that Novichok poisoning, a military-grade nerve agent, could indicate the incident was state ordered.

The Kremlin has dismissed such allegations as “absurd”. Russian doctors insist they found no poison in Mr Navalny’s body during initial tests.

Germany contradicts these claims however, and announced earlier this month that tests had found “unequivocal evidence” of the nerve agent.

On Thursday, Mr Navalny’s aides said that Germany had discovered traces of Novichok on a water bottle from the politician’s Siberian hotel room.

The revelation came after Mr Navalny said he had spent his first day breathing unaided for the first time.

“It’s an amazing process that’s undervalued by many. I recommend it,” he joked in the Instagram post.