Alexey Navalny is determined as ever to fight what he sees as corruption in his native Russia.
The Russian opposition leader recently survived an assassination attempt where he was believed to be poisoned. This was the latest and most serious threat to his life.
The 44-year-old fell ill while on a commercial flight within his home country. The plane made an emergency landing in Siberia, where he remained hospitalized for two days until the Russian government allowed Navalny to travel to a Berlin hospital via an air ambulance.
The outspoken Kremlin critic told 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl that he believes Russian president Vladimir Putin is responsible for his poisoning.
“[There is a] huge cover up operation,” Navalny told Stahl. “There is no criminal investigation so far. If Putin is not responsible, why there is no investigation?”
Toxicology reports from labs in France and Sweden confirmed the German Military lab’s findings that Navalny was poisoned by military grade Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War.
“There is proof beyond doubt that Mr. Navalny was poisoned using a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok group,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The Russian government has denied any wrongdoing.
In 2017, when Stahl first interviewed Navalny for 60 Minutes, she asked him if the movement he led was worth risking his life.
“I’m trying to not think about it,” Navalny said to 60 Minutes in 2017. “Because look, I think I’m ready to sacrifice everything for my job and for the people who [are] surrounding me. I’m not [going to] let them down. And I’m trying to not to reflect about it all the time.”
Stahl posed the same question to Navalny after the assassination attempt on August 20 of this year.
“I feel even more [strongly] and I feel that they try to make this [assassination] attempt and now, from my experience it’s not a theoretical for me…if they will try to kill me,” Navalny told Stahl in their most recent interview. “Do I feel some fear? Will I abandon my job because they try to kill me? Now from my experience, personal experience, I just now know that I don’t feel any fear. And I’m ready to continue to work.”
Navalny told Stahl the Kremlin is doing everything in their power to prevent him from returning to Russia. He plans to go back.
The video above was produced by Keith Zubrow and Sarah Shafer Prediger. It was edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger.