Mr Navalny, a prominent opposition leader in Russia, was airlifted to Berlin for treatment after falling ill during a flight in Russia’s Siberia region last month. He has been in a coma since. Now new toxicology reports from Germany have shown he was poisoned with the infamous chemical nerve agent previously used in the Salisbury poisonings.
Mr Navalny’s team say he was poisoned by Vladimir Putin’s Government and the German Government has demanded an explanation from Russia.
The Kremlin said it had not received any information from Germany that Mr Navalny had been poisoned using a Novichok nerve agent, Russia’s Tass news agency reported.
The German government said in a statement it would inform the EU and Nato of its findings, as well as Mr Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya and Russia’s ambassador to Germany.
“It is a disturbing development that Alexei Navalny was the victim of a chemical nerve agent in Russia,” it said.
How does Novichok work?
Novichok essentially attacks and blocks the body’s cholinergic system in the brain that is required for staying alive.
These send signals between your brain and your muscles, and Novichok will send them into overdrive.
The chemicals specifically target an enzyme that drifts in the synapses between nerve cells and muscle cells.
Once these signals are compromised, it can quickly cause symptons such as loss of consciousness, paralysis and convulsions.
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Russia has denied its involvement in the poisoning and Alexei Navalny, who is prominent critic of Vladimir Putin’s Government.
Mr Navalny fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on August 20 and was transferred to Berlin two days later.
Navalny’s allies in Russia have insisted he was deliberately poisoned by the country’s authorities, an accusation that the Kremlin has rejected.
This is not the first time Novichok has been used to take out opponents by Russia.