Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was seen walking down the stairs in a photo posted on his Instagram feed on Saturday, five days after a Berlin hospital said he had been taken off a ventilator and could breathe independently.
Navalny, the leading opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill in Siberia last month and was airlifted to Berlin. 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.
“Let me tell how my recovery is going. It is already a clear path although a long one,” Navalny wrote.
Navalny said in the Instagram update he still could not use his phone and had difficulties trying to pour water into his glass or climbing stairs because his legs trembled.
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“There are many problems yet to be solved but amazing doctors from the Charite hospital have solved the main one,” the post said.
“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.”
Navalny was evacuated to Germany for medical treatment in August, flown out of the Siberian city of Omsk in an ambulance aircraft and taken to a hospital in Berlin.
There was no word yet from the Charite hospital on his condition but the founder of the activist group that arranged the flight called Navalny’s health condition “very worrying”.
A long-time opponent of President Vladimir Putin and campaigner against corruption, Navalny collapsed on a plane on Thursday after drinking tea that his allies believe was laced with poison.
Medical staff at the hospital in Omsk said on Friday evening after clearing Navalny to be flown out that he was in an induced coma and his life was not in immediate danger.
The air ambulance, arranged by the Cinema for Peace Foundation, flew to Berlin early on Saturday and Navalny, 44, was rushed to the Charite hospital complex.
The hospital said in a statement it would provide an update about his condition and further treatment once tests have been completed and after consulting with his family.