Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks with journalists in 2019. Photo: MAXIM ZMEYEV/AFP via Getty Images

Specialist labs in France and Sweden have confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group, the German government announced Monday.

Why it matters: The chemical is typically associated with Russian security services and was used in the attempted assassination in 2018 of Sergei Skripal, a Russian former double agent who had relocated to the U.K. The Kremlin has denied wrongdoing.

What they're saying: “The results of the tests have revealed unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. This constitutes a severe violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)," the German government said in a statement.

  • "The Federal Government has therefore requested that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) help analyst evidence related to to the Navalny case."
  • "We once again call on Russia to make a statement on the incident. We are closely consulting with our European partners regarding possible next steps."

The state of play: Navalny has been taken out of his medically induced coma by German doctors. He is no longer on a ventilator and is able to get up from his hospital bed, according to an update from his spokesperson on Monday.

Go deeper: White House calls poisoning of Navalny "completely reprehensible"

Go deeper

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.

Bob Woodward: "I was not going to hide" my opinion on Trump

Bob Woodward didn't want to join Senate Republicans in privately condemning President Trump but declining to do so publicly, he told Jonathan Swan in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Woodward has covered 9 presidents, but Trump is the first that Woodward explicitly described as "the wrong man for the job."

Watch the full Jonathan Swan interview with Bob Woodward

In the latest episode of "Axios on HBO," Jonathan Swan interviews Bob Woodward about his new book, "Rage," which was based on 19 interviews with President Trump.