Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the same type of Soviet-era nerve agent that British authorities identified in a 2018 attack on a former Russian spy, the German government said Wednesday, citing new test results.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement that testing by a special German military laboratory at the Charite's request had now shown “proof without doubt of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.”
“It is a dismaying event that Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia,” Seibert said. “The German government condemns this attack in the strongest terms.”
Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Aug 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.
He was transferred two days later to Berlin’s Charité hospital, where doctors last week said initial tests indicated Navalny had been poisoned.