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Alexei Navalny: Opposition leader posted photo from hospital after poisoning as aide says he plans to return to Russia

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Alexei Navalny: Opposition leader posted photo from hospital after poisoning as aide says he plans to return to Russia

Navalny was captured next to his family in a photo posted on his Instagram account Tuesday.

In his first direct message after hospitalization, an anti-corruption activist said he was now breathing on his own, without medical attention.

“Hello, this is Navalny,” he wrote in his signature. “I miss you. I still can’t do much, but yesterday I could breathe on my own all day. Just me. I didn’t use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. “

The German government said Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Soviet-era Novichok group, and questions remain about the Russian state’s involvement in the incident.

Despite this, the Kremlin critic intends to return home after recovering, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh told CNN in a CNN text message on Monday.

“No other option has ever been considered,” Yarmysh said.

For the first time, Navalny fell ill on August 20 during a flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk. He was hospitalized in Omsk after a forced landing.

He was then taken to Berlin’s Charité hospital two days later as part of a medical evacuation and remained in Germany for several weeks before being excommunicated from mechanical ventilation.

On Monday, the hospital said that Navalny could get out of bed for a while.

International concern remains

The attack on the Kremlin critic drew widespread international condemnation.

The German government discovered that he had been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok after testing, a conclusion supported by two other laboratories in France and Sweden.

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The novice was also used in March 2018 in an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury, and several Russian dissidents have been poisoned in the past.

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Berlin called on Moscow to explain how Navalny was poisoned, but the Kremlin has remained adamant in the face of criticism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called accusations of Kremlin involvement in the attack “unfounded” and “inappropriate” on Monday during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“[The two sides] discussed the situation around the “Navalny case” in detail, the Kremlin said on Monday’s call.

“Vladimir Putin emphasized the inappropriateness of unfounded accusations against the Russian side in this context.”

The French report said that Macron had stressed to Putin “in order to shed light on the circumstances and responsibility of this assassination without delay.”

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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