Russia ‘tried to poison’ opposition leader with Novichok for ‘second time’

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Russia tried to assassinate Vladimir Putin’s opposition, Alexander Navalny, with Novichok nerve agent for a second time, sources have claimed.

Navalny, 44, fell ill while on a plane to Moscow, Russia on August 20, forcing air staff to make an emergency landing in Omsk.

The Sunday Times claims Navalny collapsed in the aisle and said: "I’m dying, I’ve been poisoned."

He was transported to hospital via ambulance and given a life-saving injection used to treat pesticide poisoning.

The opposition leader survived the attack and the German government later identified "unequivocal evidence" of Novichok in his system.

It is believed the nerve agent was planted in Navalny's hotel room in Tomsk, Serbia with hopes he would die before receiving medical treatment.

The 44-year-old's allies have blamed Vladimir Putin's government for the alleged attempted assassination, but Russia has denied any involvement.

And according to the Sunday Times, it is believed Navalny was slipped a second dose of the military-grade nerve agent as he lay in hospital.

"This was with a view to him being dead by the time he arrived in Berlin," German security sources claim.

Adding that would-be assassins used Navalny's 18-day coma as an opportunity to carry out a second attack with the deadly nerve agent.

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lastair Hay, professor of environmental toxicology at Leeds University, said: "Giving a second dose of Novichok would undoubtedly increase the chances of killing.

"But if he were already atropinized, this would counteract the nerve agent, although it might mean prolonging his coma.

"The toxin would take longer to be degraded in the liver."

The EU and the UK have imposed sanctions over Navalny's poisoning on six senior Russian officials and a state chemical centre.

  • Novichok
  • Russia

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