Russian opposition leader Navalny leaves Berlin hospital month after poisoning

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This picture posted on Sept. 21, 2020 on his Instagram account shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia Navalnaya in Berlin’s Charite hospital.

BERLIN — Poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been discharged from inpatient care, the German hospital that was treating him said Wednesday, adding that doctors believe a full recovery is possible.

Berlin’s Charité Hospital said Navalny left on Tuesday after 32 days of treatment — 24 of which were spent in intensive care. While a complete recovery is feasible “it remains too early to gauge the potential long term effects of his severe poisoning,” the hospital said in a statement.

The Russian opposition leader, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics, fell ill during an Aug. 20 flight from Siberia to Moscow. A video from the plane showed him crying out in agony.

[Russian opposition leader Navalny poisoned with nerve agent similar to Novichok, Germany says]

The 44 year-old was flown to Berlin for treatment two days later. The German government has said toxicology tests in three countries have found that he was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok family, a class of chemical weapons developed by the former Soviet Union and Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded an explanation from Moscow. The Kremlin has denied poisoning him.

Navalny’s health has steadily improved since doctors brought him out of an induced coma on Sept. 7. A week later he said he was to go a full day without mechanical ventilation. Posting on Instagram on Saturday he said he saw a “clear path” to recovery, though a long one.

Alongside a photo of him walking down a flight of stairs he described how until recently he hadn’t been able to speak or recognize people. He said the doctor would bring him a board to try to write a word.

“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,” he wrote. “Now I’m a guy whose legs are shaking when he walks up the stairs, but he thinks: ‘Oh, this is a staircase! They go up. Perhaps we should look for an elevator.’”

He said he still struggled to use his phone or to pour a glass of water.

Navalny’s team has said that he intends to return to Russia once he has recovered.

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