Alexey Navalny shares first picture of himself post-attack, from a hospital in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, September 15

Alexey Navalny: Opposition leader posts photo at hospital after poisoning as an aide says he plans to return to Russia

Navalny is pictured next to his family in the photo, which was posted on his Instagram account on Tuesday.

In his first immediate message since his hospitalization, the anti-corruption activist said he was now breathing on his own without medical support.

“Hello, this is Navali,” he wrote in the caption. “I miss you. I still can’t do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own for the whole day. Only me. I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat.”

Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent by the Soviet-era Novichok group, the German government said, and questions remain about the Russian state’s involvement in the incident.

Nevertheless, the Kremlin critic intends to return home after his recovery, Spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh told CNN on Monday.

“No other option has ever been considered,” Yarmysh said.

Navalny fell ill for the first time on a flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk on August 20. He was hospitalized in the city of Omsk after an emergency landing.

He was then taken to Charite Hospital in Berlin two days later for a medical evacuation and remained in Germany for weeks while weaning by mechanical ventilation.

On Monday, the hospital said Navalny was able to leave his bed for a short time.

International concern remains

The attack on the Kremlin critic received widespread international condemnation.

The German government found that he had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent after testing, a finding supported by two other laboratories in France and Sweden.

Because Europe can not yet take risks with the supply of Russian gas

Novichok was also used in an attack in March 2018 against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury, and many Russian dissidents have been poisoned in the past.

Berlin called on Moscow to explain how Navani was poisoned, but the Kremlin remained provocative.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the accusations that the Kremlin was involved in the attack “unfounded” and “inappropriate” during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

“[The two sides] have discussed the “Navalny case” extensively, the Kremlin account said in a statement on Monday.

“Vladimir Putin stressed the inappropriate nature of the baseless accusations against the Russian side in this context.”

The French reading of the appeal said Macron had stressed to Putin “that he must shed light, without delay, on the circumstances and responsibilities of this assassination attempt”.

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