Russian activist ‘poisoned, possibly by nerve agent’ while on trip to Europe

The head of an international organization fighting for democracy in Russia says she thinks she was “poisoned, possibly by some nerve agent”.

Natalia Arno experienced “strange symptoms” while on a recent trip to Europe and on one occasion found the door to her room open when she returned to her hotel.

A post on Ms Arno’s social media says she woke up at 5am the next day in acute pain and decided to fly home on the earliest flight to the US, where she has been recovering.

While it is not yet confirmed what caused her condition, the post says it is being investigated – it’s a story that conjures up memories of the Novichok poisonings of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and five people in Salisbury in 2018.

Ms Arno, who was forced to leave Russia due to her pro-democracy work, founded the Free Russia Foundation in 2014.

Her Facebook post says she was visiting two European cities in late April and early May when the symptoms started.


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