Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has said he believed Russia's intelligence services poisoned him with a rare nerve agent because authorities saw him as a threat ahead of next year's parliamentary elections.
Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has said he believes Russia's intelligence services poisoned him with a rare nerve agent because authorities saw him as a threat ahead of next year's parliamentary elections.
Navalny made his first video appearance on Tuesday since coming out of a coma and being discharged from a Berlin hospital.
"They understood that there were big, big problems threatening them ahead of elections for the State Duma," Navalny said in a YouTube interview with a Russian blogger Yury Dud.
The Kremlin has rejected any suggestion that President Vladimir Putin or the Russian authorities were responsible for Navalny's condition.
Navalny said he did not know how a Novichok nerve agent had got into his system, but that he could have touched something.
Western leaders demand answers
The 44-year-old lawyer Navalny fell ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow after a trip to support opposition candidates in local elections.
He was treated in a Siberian hospital before being evacuated to Berlin.
Western leaders began demanding answers after Germany and two other laboratories said there was "unequivocal evidence" that the had been afflicted by the infamous nerve agent.
Navalny was exposed to the same substance used against Russian ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English town of Salisbury two years ago.
French and Swedish labs had independently confirmed the doctors' findings prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to demand Vladimir Putin shed light on the "attempted murder".