Poisoned critic will return to Russia, face risks

One of President Vladimir Putin's leading critics says he’s flying home to Russia on Sunday despite the risk of prison.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was speaking from Germany where he was airlifted last August, after being poisoned.

Germany and other Western nations say it was an attempt to murder him with a Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities deny any involvement in the incident.

Navalny says he’s almost fully recovered.

"The last thing Putin can do is to put a huge placard on Kremlin, reading: 'Alexei, please, under any circumstances - do not return back home'. But coming to Germany was not my choice. It is a cool country, but I am here not by my own will. I am here because they tried to kill me - those people who now have a grouch against me cause they did not manage to kill me, and I survived. And now they are threatening to put me in jail."

His announcement came a day after court documents showed Russian authorities had asked a court to jail him.

The charge: he allegedly broke the terms of a suspended sentence for what Navalny says was a politically-motivated conviction.

Writing on social media, he says he’s not interested in what Putin’s servants might do to him – Russia is his country.

Last month Russia's Federal Prison Service ordered Navalny to immediately fly back, and to report at a Moscow office, or be jailed if he failed to return in time.

He and his allies have accused Russian authorities of trying to scare him from returning before parliamentary elections due to be held in September.