Alexei Navalny has posted a photo on Instagram showing himself sitting up in bed, together with his wife and two daughters.
Almost one month after being poisoned with Novichok before a flight from Siberia to Moscow, Navalny has made an impressive recovery in a Berlin hospital, although doctors have cautioned that there may be long-term effects.
Displaying his famous sense of humour that has sustained him through many acts of persecution, he said: “Hi, this is Navalny. I’m missing you. I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I could breathe the whole day on my own. Completely on my own. No external help, not even a simple ventilator in my throat. I liked it a lot. A surprising process that is under-appreciated by many. I highly recommend.”
Navalny’s post comes one day after it was reported that dissident candidates in two important cities in Siberia have won seats and overturned administrations loyal to Putin. It was on his return from election campaigning in the region that Navalny was taken ill.
Doctors in the Russian hospital who first treated him used an antidote to poison in the first instance, and may have saved his life. Later they said they had found no trace of poison.
Navalny has said he has no intention of going into exile in Germany, and intends to return to Russia.