WORLD—In an interview published on Thursday, October 1, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stated that he thinks President Vladimir Putin had him poisoned with a nerve agent. 

Alexei Anatolievich Navalny, 44, is a Russian opposition politician, anti-corruption activist and critic of President Vladimir Putin.

On August 20, Navalny was hospitalized and left in a serious, but stable condition after he was suspected to be poisoned on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow in a possibly politically motivated attack. Specialists determined the poison originated from the Novichok family of substances, which was developed by the Soviet Union.

“I assert that Putin was behind the crime, and I have no other explanation for what happened. I’m not saying this out of self-flattery, but based on the facts. The most important fact is Novichok,” Navalny told Der Spiegel.

When asked why he wanted to return to Russia despite the attack, Navalny stated: “Not going back would mean that Putin has won and achieved his goal. And my job now is to remain the guy who isn’t afraid. And I’m not afraid… I attract attacks, so there is a responsibility… Without this struggle, things will only get worse. They will kill many more people and they will imprison many more people…. Not resisting would mean putting everyone at even greater risk in the long term. That’s just how it is: We are fighting again monstrous villains who are prepared to commit the most heinous crimes.”

After the interview, The Kremlin denied the accusations and denied that Navalny had been poisoned with a nerve agent.