Navalny poisoned by bottle of water in hotel, not by tea at airport

The team around the Russian opposition leader Alexander Navalny says he has been poisoned in his hotel, by water from a bottle. It did not happen at the airport, as previously thought.

On Instagram the team placed images of a bottle in a hotel room. It was supposed to be a hotel in Tomsk where Navalny and his film crew were staying. On that water-bottle Novichok was found in a German laboratory, the message says.

Until now, it was assumed that he had received the poison from tea he had drunk just before a domestic flight from Tomsk on 20 August. He had been on an election campaign in the east of the country.

Back to the hotel room

Navalny became ill on board the plane. He lost consciousness and began to suffocate, it says in the Instagram message. The plane was grounded and Navalny was taken to a hospital in Omsk.

His staff immediately did not trust it and some members of his team who had been left in the hotel in Tomsk called a lawyer and went back to the room where Navalny had just left, they describe in the Instagram message. They began to record, describe and pack everything they found there, including the bottles of water from the hotel

All that stuff went to Germany for research. After several days of discussion between his team and Russian doctors about what was wrong with Navalny, he was flown over to Berlin, where he is now in the renowned Charitรฉ hospital.

Breathing for himself

He was kept in an artificial coma, but now he is doing better. On Tuesday he shared an Instagram message with the world saying he was breathing on his own again. He added a photo showing his family with him on his hospital bed. He then said nothing about the cause of his hospitalisation.

On Tuesday, researchers from French and Swedish laboratories confirmed what had already been established by Germany: that the leader of the opposition was poisoned with the nerve poison Novichok, from the hotels water bottle, according to his staff.

Navalny is being watched inside and outside the hospital in Berlin because there are fears of another attack on his life. His spokesman previously wrote on Twitter that Navalny wants to return to Russia after his recovery.