Kremlin foe Navalny says he will fly home despite threats

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2021

Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin's leading critics, was airlifted to Germany for treatment in August past year after collapsing on a plane in what Germany and other Western nations say was an attempt to murder him with a Novichok nerve agent.

The Kremlin continues to deny that Navalny was poisoned, accusing the West of refusing to share evidence.

"Putin is so enraged that I survived his poisoning that he ordered FSIN [Federal Prison Service] to go to court and demand that my suspended sentence is changed to a real one", Navalny wrote on Twitter, while providing a screen shot of the legal request filed Monday with a Moscow court.

Navalny has said that he plans to return to Russian Federation after he is fully recovered.

He said he would fly home from Germany on Sunday. But I'm not interested in what they're going to do to me.

His announcement comes a day after Russia's Federal Prison Service (FSIN) asked the court to replace his 2014 suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case with a real prison term, a signal that he could be jailed when he arrives in Russian Federation. His extended probation period in the embezzlement case he says was politically motivated and Europe's human rights court ruled was unfair expired on December 30. Navalny has also dismissed those fraud accusations as crudely fabricated. "Come greet me", he said. "The only thing left for Putin to do is to put up a giant billboard on top of the Kremlin saying, 'Alexei, please don't return home under any circumstances!'"

Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20. Navalny was transported to a Berlin hospital where he spent weeks in a coma.

Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a highly toxic Soviet-era nerve agent.

Russian authorities insisted that doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia before he was airlifted to Germany found no trace of poison and have challenged German officials to provide proof of his poisoning.

Mr Navalny said he had probably nearly fully recovered his health. "Russian Federation is my country, Moscow is my city and I miss it".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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