Alexey Navalny walks down stairs at Charite hospital in Berlin, Germany, in this image obtained from social media [Courtesy of Instagram/Reuters]
Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been seen walking down stairs in a photo posted on his Instagram feed, five days after a Berlin hospital said he had been taken off a ventilator and could breathe independently.
“Let me tell how my recovery is going. It is already a clear path although a long one,” Navalny wrote on Instagram on Saturday.
He said he still could not use his phone and had difficulties trying to pour water into his glass or climbing stairs because his legs trembled.
“There are many problems yet to be solved but amazing doctors from the Charite hospital have solved the main one,” the post said, referring to the Berlin hospital where he is being treated.
“They turned me from a ‘technically alive human being’ into someone who has high chances to become … a man who can quickly scroll Instagram and understands without thinking where to put his likes.”
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Navalny, the leading opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on a domestic flight to Moscow on August 20 and was airlifted to Berlin two days later.
Germany says laboratory tests in three countries have determined he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, and Western governments have demanded an explanation from Russia.
The Kremlin has claimed that before Navalny’s transfer to Berlin, Russian labs and a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk found no sign of poisoning.
Russia has called for Germany to provide evidence and bristled at the urging of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Western leaders to answer questions about what happened to the politician.
“There is too much absurdity in this case to take anyone at their word,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
Peskov also accused Navalny’s colleagues of hampering a Russian investigation by taking items from his hotel room, including a water bottle they claimed had traces of the nerve agent, out of the country.
Navalny’s colleagues said they removed the bottle and other items from the hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk and brought them to Germany as potential evidence because they did not trust the Russian authorities to conduct a proper probe.