'It's me, Navalny,' says Putin critic in first post since emerging from coma after Novichok poisoning

"It's me, Navalny."

Russian opposition leader and investigative journalist Alexei Navalny posted these words with this photo from his hospital bed on Instagram, with his wife and two children.

Navalny is in Germany, where he was airlifted after being poisoned with the Russian chemical weapon nerge agent known as Novichok.

Navalny's wit and humor appear to be back. He says he's breathing on his own again, and that he "highly recommends it".

"Alexei Navalny is definitely the victim of a crime," said Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"They wanted to silence him, and I condemn this in the strongest possible terms," she said.

"There are very serious questions now which only the Russian government can and must answer."