Russian opposition leader Navalny will return to Russia on January 17

Russia’s opposition leader Alexey Navalny will return to Russia on January 17, he announced on Wednesday from Germany, where he has been convalescing after being poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. 

Since he was poisoned in August, Navalny has been in Germany, where he received treatment in Berlin Charite Hospital. While he has blamed on the Kremlin, Russia has denied allegations, citing that the Kremlin critic is “enjoying the support of the US special services” and that if Russia’s special services had wanted to kill him, they would have “finished” the job.

“The question ‘to return or not’ never stood before me. Just because I didn’t leave. I ended up in Germany, having arrived there in an intensive care box,” the Kremlin critic wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Upon his return, Navalny could face prison, as Russia’s Federal Prison Service (FSIN) has threatened to jail him for allegedly violating the terms of a suspended prison sentence. 

Navalny is serving out a suspended three-and-a-half-year prison term over the so-called “Yves Rocher” theft case, which he sees as politically-motivated. On Monday, Russian prison authorities sent an official request to a Moscow court asking to replace his suspended sentence with a real jail term.

“Putin is so mad at me for surviving his poisoning that he ordered the Federal Penitentiary Service to replace my suspended sentence with a real one,” Navalny tweeted on Tuesday, while in an Instagram video he said: “I survived. And now Putin, who gave the order for my murder, is … telling his servants to do everything so that I do not return.”