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Photo: Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday joined other world governments to condemn the apparent poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The state of play: The German government announced that the poisoning was conducted with Novichok, a chemical typically associated with Russian security services.

  • Nalvany remains comatose at a Berlin hospital two weeks after falling ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow.
  • For years, he's been one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken opponents. Attacks on anti-Kremlin activists, like 2018's Salisbury Novichok attack in the U.K., have been a hallmark of Putin's leadership. Russia has claimed no wrongdoing in such incidents.

What they're saying: White House National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot said Wednesday, "The United States is deeply troubled by the results released today. Alexei Navalny’s poisoning is completely reprehensible."

  • "We will work with allies and the international community to hold those in Russia accountable, wherever the evidence leads, and restrict funds for their malign activities."
  • "The Russian people have a right to express their views peacefully without fear of retribution of any kind, and certainly not with chemical agents."

The big picture: Other world leaders simultaneously spoke out against the attack on Navalny.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, "We have seen first-hand the deadly consequences of Novichok in the U.K. The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny — we will work with international partners to ensure justice is done."
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said efforts to "silence" Navalny are "a crime against the basic values and basic rights we stand for. ... Of course it raises severe questions that only the Russian government can answer and will have to answer."
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted, "This is a despicable and cowardly act — once again. Perpetrators need to be brought to justice."
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted, "I utterly condemn the use of a military-grade nerve agent, which makes it even more urgent that Russia conducts full & transparent investigation."

Go deeper

Nov 23, 2020 - World

NZ's Jacinda Ardern becomes the latest world leader to congratulate Biden

Combination images of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: NZ Prime Minister's Office/Instagram/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has become the latest world leader to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden in a phone call, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is still refusing to acknowledge the U.S. election win.

Driving the news: Biden's transition team said in a statement late Sunday he "expressed his intent to strengthen the U.S.-New Zealand partnership" and looked forward to working closely on challenges including containing COVID-19, tackling climate change and "reinforcing multilateralism."

Updated 31 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.