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‘You are good people’

Navalny thanks Russian pilots, medics

In this photo published by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on his instagram account on Friday, Navalny and his wife Yulia pose for a selfie in an unknown location in Germany. This week Navalny was discharged from a Berlin hospital after being treated for what German authorities determined to be nerve agent poisoning. In an Instagram post on Friday, the politician thanked Russian pilots for landing the plane after he collapsed into a coma on Aug. 20 and medics at the Omsk airport injecting him with atropine, saying they gave him “additional 15-20 hours of life.” (AP photo)

MOSCOW — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in Germany recovering from what authorities there determined to be nerve agent poisoning, thanked Russian pilots and paramedics for acting quickly after he fell into a coma on a flight from Siberia.

Navalny, who collapsed on a plane to Moscow on Aug. 20 and spent nearly three weeks in a coma, said in an Instagram post on Friday that pilots “quickly landed the plane in Omsk” and medical workers at the airport “jammed a dose of atropine” into him, immediately recognizing “a toxic poisoning.”

“Thank you, unknown good-hearted friends. You are good people,” the 44-year-old politician wrote under a photo of him hugging his wife Yulia.

After 48 hours in a hospital in Omsk, where Russian doctors said they found no trace of any poisoning, Navalny was transferred to the Charite hospital in Berlin. German chemical weapons experts determined that he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok — findings corroborated by labs in France and Sweden.

Navalny, a longtime foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was discharged from the hospital earlier this week. Charite hospital said that based on Navalny’s progress, physicians believe a “complete recovery is possible.”

Russian authorities have been resisting the international pressure to launch a criminal investigation, saying no trace of poisonous substances has been found in Navalny’s system and demanding Germany, France and Sweden to share their findings.

The Russian delegation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons sent a note to Germany on Wednesday, requesting “comprehensive information on the so-called Navalny case,” including “test results, biological materials and other clinical samples” to be provided within 10 days.

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