Just over two weeks after his poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent in Siberia, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny began to respond to the words of his wife, Yulia, and wake from a drug-induced coma.

As he emerged from what he would later describe as days of appalling hallucinations, he found himself in Berlin’s Charite hospital, where he’d been evacuated for emergency treatment on Aug. 22. He would later recount how he had to be lifted into a chair from his hospital bed and would sit with his mouth open, staring at a single spot on the wall.

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