Shockingly, Poisoned Putin Critic Was, Indeed, Poisoned.
From the Department of Redundancy Department, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader and Putin critic Alexey Navalny was — and you might need to sit down for this shocking revelation — was a poisoning with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. The same nerve agent that has been almost exclusively deployed by the Putin-dominated Russian state against perceived enemies.
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group, the German government said Wednesday.
Navalny, who fell ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow last month, is being treated at a Berlin hospital.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said toxicological tests on samples taken from Navalny had been carried out at a German military laboratory. He said they provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent” from the Novichok group.
In a statement, Seibert said it was “startling” that “Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia.”
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Navalny, 44, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, became ill en route from Siberia to Moscow on August 20.
Dramatic video footage from the plane showed a man groaning in apparent agony.
The flight made an emergency landing in Omsk, and Navalny was transferred to a hospital there, before his wife and supporters pleaded for him to be taken to Germany for treatment.
The anti-corruption blogger was flown to Berlin on August 22 and taken to the city’s Charité Hospital, where he is said to be in an induced coma.
Other Kremlin critics or opponents have been involved in apparent poisoning incidents or suffered mysterious deaths.
In 2018, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was the target of a Novichok nerve agent attack in the English cathedral city of Salisbury.
Andrea Sella, professor of inorganic chemistry at University College London, told CNN: “The identification of the poison as being one of the family of Novichok agents points extremely strongly towards the Russian government being responsible for this outrage.”
“The Russian government has the motivation for it, but also the track record on multiple levels,” Sella said. “It shows both their ruthlessness but also their level of impunity. It is clear that they care little about international opinion and are prepared to act because they know that the consequences are extremely small.”