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  • well.

  • Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is heading home from Germany, where he's been recovering from a nerve agent attack that almost killed him.

  • Navalny insist that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the poisoning, which the Kremlin denies.

  • Now Navalny is risking arrest on arrival over an earlier suspended sentence.

  • Hi, its navalny.

  • With that familiar greeting, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny announced his plans to leave Germany and return home to Russia despite the fact that last time he was there, he was fighting for his life.

  • Coming to Germany was not my choice.

  • It's a cool country, but I am not here by my own will.

  • I am here because they tried to kill me, those people who now have a grudge against me because they didn't manage to kill me and I survived Back.

  • In August, Navalny fell ill on board a plane from Tomsk to Moscow.

  • After an emergency landing, he was rushed to hospital, where doctors insisted there was no evidence of poisoning.

  • But two days later, Navalny was airlifted to Germany for treatment.

  • They're experts confirmed he had been poisoned with Soviet era nerve agent Nova Chalk.

  • Since then, the opposition leader has been recovering from the attack and investigating who was behind it.

  • He even got an alleged member of the hit squad to confess by calling him posing as an aide to a top FSB official.

  • The agent said the team had put the poison in Navalny's underwear.

  • The Kremlin has denied any link to the poisoning, but Navalny insists it was ordered by President Vladimir Putin himself.

  • Now Navalny's facing arrest on his return.

  • Authorities say he's breached the terms of a suspended sentence he received in a 2014 fraud trial.

  • But Navalny says it's just another move designed to scare him off without success.

  • Our reporter, Erin Tilton, is at Berlin airport for us.

  • Last time Navalny was on Russian soil.

  • Aaron, someone tried to kill him.

  • Why is he going back?

  • Well, Alexei Navalny has never made any secret of the fact that he always intended to return to Russia.

  • You have to remember he is the most prominent member of the Russian opposition and the most visible thanks in large part to a lot of his social media work and also his work with his anti corruption foundation.

  • And that work is very hard to coordinate from abroad.

  • and, of course, within Russia itself.

  • There's for a long time in this sentiment that is very hard to be a Russian politician when you're not in the country directly.

  • One just needs to think of the opposition aligned oligarch Mikhail Khordokovsky, who after a lengthy prison term, was actually forced into political exile abroad.

  • Now he quickly lost relevance within Russia itself.

  • And I think that's, Ah, faith that election of only really hoped to avoid, which is part of the reason that he's taken the step to return to the country today.

  • Erin, we've got you loud and clear, but I should apologize to the viewers that we do have a large delay.

  • But we're going to plow on and ask you, Erin, how much is Navalny's life at risk in Russia, right?

  • Well, after last year's assassination attempt, of course, concerns of his own personal safety are gonna be weighing heavily on his mind.

  • That being said, it's not clear that he is in immediate danger.

  • Um uh, mortal danger upon returning to the country instead, this seems to be kind of a politically a politically calculated gambit.

  • Upon his part, he's attempting to up the pressure on Vladimir Putin, which is something he does appear to be doing quite successfully by returning to the country.

  • If Putin doesn't take action against him, he runs the risk of actually appearing weak to his own voters in his own supporters within the country.

  • But at the same time, if Vladimir Putin does choose to take action against Navalny, he could run the risk of waking new sympathies for Navalny within Russia and also abroad.

  • And other people have floated the idea that if Alexei Navalny is actually arrested upon his return, he could actually become kind of, ah, cause celebrity among both Russians and also politicians abroad.

  • And now that's not a very attractive prospect for the man in the Kremlin, which is part of the reason I think that Navalny has, um, chosen to undergo this gambit, actually returned to the country, Aaron just very briefly before we go.

  • What exactly are those allegations that threatened tohave Navalny arrested on his return?

  • Mhm well.

  • The most pressing are allegations that he violated the conditions of a suspended sentence he was given for corruption in 2013 2014.

  • Now Moscow's prison authority maintains that he would need to have checked in with his parole officers while he was receiving treatment here in Germany.

  • Now they say, that didn't happen, which is part of the reason they are pressing for his arrest when he returns to Moscow later today.

  • Aaron Tilton in Berlin Many thanks.


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Poisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny heads back to Russia | DW Deutsch

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/17
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