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CNN Films, HBO Max Partner for Navalny Documentary

Navalny was jailed upon his return to Russia after recovering from a near-fatal poisoning abroad. Babushkinsky Court Press Service / TASS

CNN Films and HBO Max announced Thursday that they will be releasing a documentary about jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s nerve-agent poisoning that nearly killed him.

The broadcaster’s film division and the U.S. streaming platform said they have partnered with director Daniel Roher to produce the “revealing fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller” that was “shot as the story unfolded.”

With unmatched access to Alexei himself, Daniel and the entire team have masterfully delivered a fascinating, raw thriller,” Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN films, said. 

Having a front seat to history while shooting this film was a life-changing experience,” Roher said. 

Navalny fell severely ill on an August 2020 flight, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Siberia. Days later, he was evacuated to Germany, where he spent two months in a coma and several more in recovery.

Western scientists concluded that he was poisoned with the banned Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok and investigative reports, including by CNN, linked the attack to Russia’s Federal Security Service. 

Navalny, whose return to Russia and imprisonment on old charges will mark its one-year anniversary on Jan. 17, blames his near-fatal poisoning on the Kremlin — which denies involvement.

Last month, Navalny’s team launched a website documenting all that is currently known about his poisoning and offered 3 million rubles ($41,000) in exchange for further evidence and information.

CNN Films and HBO Max did not announce the date of the “Navalny” documentary’s release.

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