Russian opposition leader was poisoned with novichok nerve agent, say doctors

Doctors in Germany treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny say he was poisoned with a novichok-class nerve agent. The conclusion sharpens suspicion of the Russian government, which developed the chemical and has used it in the past in similar attacks.

Angela Merkel has demanded answers from the Kremlin over the "attempted murder" of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after toxicological exams at Berlin's Charité hospital indicated "unequivocally" that Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from the novichok family.

"This poison could be identified unequivocally in tests," Merkel said, referring to tests carried out at a military laboratory. She said the findings raised "very difficult questions that only the Russian government can answer."

Navalny was airlifted to Berlin last month after falling ill during a flight over Siberia. In 2018, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were posioned in Salisbury, England, in a sloppy attempted assassination that sickened other local residents and killed one.