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Alexey Navalny plans to sue Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov for claiming that Navalny is working with the CIA

Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has announced plans to sue Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov over his claims that Navalny is “working with CIA specialists.”

“You know, I very rarely take propagandists to court, even though they lie about me all day long. I simply don’t want to waste time. However, this is a direct statement from a government official. Therefore, firstly, I’m filing a lawsuit against Peskov,” Navalny wrote on his website.

“I demand the publication of evidence and facts that point to ‘work with CIA specialists.’ Show it on television directly, during prime time. I’m giving you permission,” he continued. “If the government authorities, on whose behalf Peskov speaks, have evidence of the nonsense he’s talking about, then this is a matter of Russia’s state security and I demand that this evidence be published.”

On October 1, the German newspaper Der Spiegel published an interview with Navalny, in which he said that he holds Vladimir Putin directly responsible for the nerve-agent attack that nearly killed him in August. Following the interview’s publication, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin called Navalny a “shameless bastard” and claimed the oppposition figure is in fact a Western intelligence operative.

In comments to journalists later in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Alexey Navalny of working with Western intelligence agencies, saying specifically that Navalny is currently cooperating with CIA specialists. Peskov also said the oppositonist’s claim that Vladimir Putin is to blame for his poisoning is “absolutely baseless and unacceptable.”

On August 20, Alexey Navalny became violently ill aboard a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Pilots made an emergency landing in Omsk, where Navalny was hospitalized and immediately placed in a medically induced coma. Two days later, he was transferred aboard an air ambulance to Berlin, where German specialists later concluded that he had been exposed to a Novichok-class nerve agent. Russian officials maintain that they have no evidence that Navalny was poisoned. He regained consciousness on September 7 and was discharged from the hospital on September 22, though his full rehabilitation is expected to take several more weeks.

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