Global News

Putin critic Navalny has eye surgery in Spain after attack

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has had surgery on his right eye by a doctor in Spain, after suffering chemical burns from green dye that was thrown in his face.

In an Instagram post, Mr Navalny said “sadly, I’ve been told I will only recover my sight in several months”.

A photo he posted shows his right eye looking bloodshot, and skin damage.

Last month green antiseptic was thrown at Mr Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He is recovering at an eye clinic in Barcelona, a city he described as “a European centre for ophthalmology”.

Commenting on his vision now, he said that his right eye could only make out the largest letters on the optician’s test card.

But he said he was happy to dispense with “pirate accessories” like an eye patch.

Photo of Navalny
Mr Navalny was attacked in April near the Moscow offices of his Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK)

He said the liquid had contained a caustic substance that caused him to lose 85% of his sight in that eye.

He had also been attacked in March with the dye called zelyonka (“brilliant green” in English).

Presidential ambitions

He intends to challenge Mr Putin in next year’s presidential elections. He campaigns against what he calls systematic government corruption, vowing to rid Russia of its powerful “thieves”.

This month a Russian court upheld a five-year suspended sentence imposed on Mr Navalny.

The ruling by a court in Kirov related to his conviction for embezzlement in a timber deal. He was convicted again in February after a retrial.

He condemned the case as political, designed to prevent him standing in next year’s presidential election.

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