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Poisoned Navalny discharged from Berlin hospital

Putin critic Alexei Navalny has been discharged from a Berlin hospital where he was being treated for Novichok nerve agent poisoning.

The Charité Hospital said it was ending acute medical care because his condition had sufficiently improved.

Mr Navalny posted a picture of himself standing unaided with a message saying doctors had given him every chance of a full recovery.

His team alleges he was poisoned on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin strongly denies any involvement.

Mr Navalny, a leading Russian opposition activist, collapsed on a flight in Siberia on August 20. He was later transferred to the Charité hospital in the German capital.

On Wednesday, his spokeswoman said he would remain in Germany “because his treatment is not over”.

“Nevertheless, doctors now predict [a] full recovery,” she added.

A statement from the hospital said that 44-year-old Mr Navalny had spent 32 days there, including 24 days in intensive care.

“Based on the patient’s progress and current condition, the treating physicians believe that complete recovery is possible. However, it remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning,” it said.

Shortly after he was discharged, Mr Navalny described his rehabilitation programme in a post on Instagram.

“Further recovery does not require in-patient care, but a normal life,” he wrote. “Walking, spending time with my family. Immersing myself in a daily routine.”

“My plans are simple: (go to) the physiotherapist every day,” he said. “Possibly a rehabilitation centre. Stand on one leg. Regain complete control over my fingers. Maintain my balance.”

He thanked doctors at the Berlin hospital for the treatment he had received.

Earlier this month, the hospital revealed that Mr Navalny had begun to recover, saying that he had been removed from a ventilator and could leave his bed.

At the time, the German government said that laboratories in France and Sweden had reconfirmed German tests showing that the poison used on Mr Navalny was a Novichok agent.

The Kremlin has said there is no proof of that.

And in a statement on Wednesday, a Kremlin spokesman said Mr Navalny was “free” to return to Moscow “at any moment”.

The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also wished the opposition figure “a speedy recovery”. -BBC

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