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Russia's Navalny Is Out of Coma

Russian opposition leader to be gradually taken off ventilator
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2020 9:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Doctors in a Berlin hospital have pulled Russian Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader whom German officials say was poisoned, out of an induced coma and say he's responding to verbal stimuli. Navalny is being eased off a ventilator, Sky News reports. Although they said he's improving, doctors were cautious. "It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning," the hospital said in a statement, per the BBC. Germany has called the poisoning attempted murder—Navalny led anti-corruption campaigns against his government—and asked Russia for answers.

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Russia countered that it wants to see Germany's evidence, and in the meantime has called its ambassador back to Moscow. Germany's foreign minister said Sunday that its support for an underwater pipeline that carries gas from Russia to Germany may hang in the balance. "The chancellor also believes that it’s wrong to rule anything out," a spokesman for Angela Merkel said Monday, per the AP. Russia pushed back Monday. "Attempts to somehow associate Russia with what happened are unacceptable to us, they are absurd," a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said. (Read more Alexei Navalny stories.)

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