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Novichok was used on arch critic of Vladimir Putin

RUSSIAN opposition leader Alexei Navalny ingested a type of novichok, the nerve agent used in the 2018 Salisbury poisonings, Germany said yesterday.

Tests on the 44-year-old (pictured) showed ‘proof without doubt of a chemical nerve agent from the novichok group’, according to Berlin.

Mr Navalny, one of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20. He was moved to Berlin’s Charite hospital two days later, where his condition remains serious.

German chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack ‘attempted murder’ and condemned it ‘in the strongest possible manner’. Foreign minister Heiko Maas summoned the Russian ambassador and called for an investigation ‘with full transparency’.

Novichok was used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. They survived but local mum Dawn Sturgess died after coming into contact with a bottle carrying the nerve agent.

In a statement on Twitter, Boris Johnson said: ‘We have seen first-hand the deadly consequences of novichok in the UK.The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny.’