1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Navalny's doctors detail poison treatment

December 23, 2020

Writing in British medical journal The Lancet, medics from the Charite hospital in Berlin outline how they treated the Russian opposition leader for Novichok poisoning.

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, his wife Yulia and son Zahar pose for a picture in Berlin.
Navalny and his family have been in Berlin since August Image: Instagram @Navalny/Reuters

The German doctors who treated Alexei Navalny published clinical details on Wednesday of how they treated him after he was poisoned with Novichok.

The Russian opposition leader said the article in leading medical journal The Lancet was medical proof that he was targeted by Kremlin authorities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies any involvement in Navanly's poisoningImage: Alexei Nikolsky/AP Photo/picture alliance

President Vladimir Putin had strongly denied any involvement in Navalny's case.

Medics from a top Berlin clinic detailed the symptoms they observed when Navalny was admitted into their care in August.

They also gave information about his physical responses as infusions, treatments, CT scans and MRIs were carried out.

As Navalny’s condition improved, he was brought out of a medically-induced coma.

Medics determined that difficulties understanding speech and speaking he had initially showed after waking up disappeared after three weeks.

"At the last follow-up visit on day 55, we found near-complete recovery of neurological, neuropsychological, and neurophysiological findings without evidence of polyneuropathy," the doctors from the Charite hospital wrote in The Lancet.

"Ascertaining the involvement of a Novichok agent and its biotransformation products in this case was only achieved several days after establishing the diagnosis of cholinesterase inhibitor poisoning," they said.

Navalny collapsed on a flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20. He flew to Germany for treatment two days later.

Western countries say only Russian officials can administer Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent.  

The EU responded by sanctioning six individuals close to the Russian government and a state research institute

Last week, a joint investigation by the research group Bellingcatand several media outlets alleged that operatives from Russia’s FSB domestic security agency had followed Navalny during his trips since 2017.

Navalny, who is currently convalescing in Germany, this week posted a video of a phone call to one of the alleged operatives, who said the poison was applied to Navalny's underwear. The FSB has branded the call a fake.

jf/dr (AP, AFP)