Novichok poisoning: Alexei Navalny comes OUT of induced coma

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive. 

Navalny, a fierce, high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany on August 22, two days after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia. 

German chemical weapons experts say tests show that the 44-year-old Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent, prompting the German government last week to demand that Russia investigate the case.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive

Berlin's Charite hospital said Monday that Navalny's condition has improved, allowing doctors to end the medically induced coma and gradually ease him off mechanical ventilation. 

'He is responding to verbal stimuli,' Charite hospital said in a statement, reporting that the 44-year-old's condition 'has improved'. 

It noted that he was responding to speech but 'long-term consequences of the serious poisoning can still not be ruled out.'

The politician, an opponent of Vladimir Putin, is in a Berlin hospital after falling ill on a flight in Siberia

The politician, an opponent of Vladimir Putin, is in a Berlin hospital after falling ill on a flight in Siberia

Navalny, pictured drinking a cup of tea at the airport, was taken ill during the flight

Navalny, pictured drinking a cup of tea at the airport, was taken ill during the flight

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's press secretary, says she suspects poison was added to a cup of tea that he was pictured drinking before falling ill on a flight and being rushed to hospital

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's press secretary, says she suspects poison was added to a cup of tea that he was pictured drinking before falling ill on a flight and being rushed to hospital

He has been in an induced coma in the Berlin hospital since he was flown to Germany for treatment.

German authorities said last week that tests showed 'proof without doubt' that he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. 

British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018. 

Tests showed he was poisoned with Novichok – the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in 2018.    

Navalny was unconscious when he was taken from the plane, and had to be put on a ventilator

Navalny was unconscious when he was taken from the plane, and had to be put on a ventilator

British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018

British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018

German chancellor Angela Merkel said Mr Navalny's poisoning was an attempt to silence one of President Putin's fiercest critics. 

She at first rejected linking the case to the giant Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

But yesterday her foreign minister Heiko Maas called for Moscow to co-operate with the investigation into the incident, saying: 'I hope the Russians won't force us to change our position regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. 

'If there won't be any contributions from the Russian side... we will have to consult with our partners.'

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He did not rule out sanctions against the Putin regime, which has denied involvement in the attack on

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