Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Tuesday that he is able to breathe on his own, his first public message since he fell into a coma after being poisoned by Novichok last month.
Navalny's Instagram post shows him sitting hunched over on a hospital bed surrounded by his wife and two children. The Russian opposition leader has been undergoing treatment in Berlin, where German officials say there is “unequivocal proof” he was poisoned by a type of Novichok nerve agent.
“I can still hardly do anything but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day,” Navalny, 44, wrote.
“I didn’t need any outside help, not even a simple valve for my throat,” he added. “I enjoyed it very much. An amazing, underestimated feeling. I recommend it.”
Berlin's Charité hospital has been reporting on Navalny’s steadily improving condition since he was flown there from Siberia on Aug. 22. Two days before, he fell ill on a flight to Moscow after drinking what his associates said was poisoned tea.
On Monday, Charité said Navalny had been removed from his ventilator and was able to get out of bed for short periods of time.