Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is recovering in Germany after being poisoned in Russia by a nerve agent, accused Vladimir Putin of being behind the attack in comments released Thursday. Navalny's supporters have frequently maintained that such an attack could have only been ordered at the top levels, though the Kremlin has steadfastly denied any involvement in it, the AP reports. Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is Putin’s fiercest critic, was flown to Germany two days after falling ill on Aug. 20 on a domestic flight in Russia. He spent 32 days in the hospital, 24 of them in intensive care, before doctors deemed his condition had improved sufficiently for him to be discharged.
After Navalny was transported to Berlin for treatment, German chemical weapons experts determined that he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. In his first interview since the attack, Navalny told Der Spiegel that in his mind, “Putin was behind the attack." "I don't have any other versions of how the crime was committed," he said. Spiegel said Navalny was joking and alert in the interview with them, though his hands shook so much it was difficult for him to drink from a bottle of water. He also reiterated what his team has previously said—that he plans on returning to Russia when he is able. “My job now is to remain the guy who isn't scared,” he said. “And I'm not scared.”
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