Alexei Navalny: Novichok nerve agent used in poisoning, German government says

Alexei Navalny: Novichok nerve agent used in poisoning, German government says

Navlani, who fell ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow last month, is being treated at a hospital in Berlin.

German government spokesman Stephen Siebert said the toxic tests on samples taken from Navlani were carried out in a German military laboratory. He said he had provided “clear evidence of a chemical nerve agent” from the Novichok group.

In a statement, Seibert said it was “shocking” that “Navalny was attacked in Russia with a chemical nerve agent.”

“The federal government strongly condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms,” ​​the statement said. “The Russian government is urged to make a statement on the incident.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that the Kremlin had not received any information from Germany that, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency, Navalny had been poisoned by a substance from the Novichok group.

Siebert said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had discussed the Navalny case with ministers early Wednesday and that the government would inform the European Union, NATO and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons about the results of the investigation.

The German government’s statement concluded: “We hope Alexei Navlani recovers fully.”

Leading Kremlin critics

Navalny, 44, a popular critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on August 20 on his way from Siberia to Moscow.

In the dramatic video footage of the plane, a man was seen screaming in obvious distress.

The flight made an emergency landing in Omsk, and Navalny was transferred to a hospital there, before his wife and supporters took him to Germany for treatment.

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The anti-corruption blogger was flown to Berlin on August 22 and taken to the city’s Charita Hospital, where he is said to be in an induced coma.

Other Kremlin critics or opponents have been involved in poisoning incidents or have faced mysterious deaths.

In 2018, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, was the target of a Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury, an English church town.

Andrea Sela, a professor of inorganic chemistry at University College London, told CNN: “The identification of the poison is a strong indication that the Russian government, as part of the family of Novichok’s agents, is responsible for this outrage.”
“The Russian government is motivated by this, but it has a record at many levels,” Sella said. “It shows not only their ruthlessness but also their level of leniency. It is clear that they care little about international opinion and are willing to act because they know the consequences are very small.”

This is a developing story. More to follow.

CNN Gianluca Mezofiore and River Tarsova contributed to this report.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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