RUSSIAN OPPOSITION leader Alexei Navalny, who intends to challenge Vladimir Putin’s in next year’s presidential elections, said Tuesday he had had surgery in Spain on an eye burned in a dye attack in Moscow.
Navalny had been unable to leave Russia since 2013 after authorities withdrew his passport citing legal reasons.
The populist nationalist anti-corruption campaigner faces legal obstacles to his attempt to deny Putin a fourth term in office, owing to an embezzlement conviction that would bar him from public office.
Navalny, who says his legal woes are politically motivated, said last week that he had been allowed to travel to Spain for surgery after attackers threw green dye at him last month in Moscow. The assault caused a chemical burn and left him with only 20% vision in the affected eye.
“The doctor in Barcelona said he will try to treat my eye and I had the operation yesterday,” Navalny said, posting a picture to Instagram showing a swollen right eye.
“Sadly, I’ve been told I will only recover my sight in several months,” added Navalny, who was arrested at a March demonstration.
April’s attack on Navalny followed a similar one a month earlier as such assaults on government opponents become more frequent.