THE RUSSIAN opposition leader was "without doubt" poisoned by a nerve agent from the Novichok group, the German government has said.

Alexei Navalny is currently being treated in Berlin after he fell ill on a domestic flight in Russia last month.

Tests performed on samples taken from his hospital bed showed the presence of the Soviet-era agent, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said.

He said testing by a special German military laboratory showed proof of "a chemical nerve agent from the novichok group".

It had previously been thought that Mr Navalny, a fierce critic of the Russian government, had been poisoned.

Novichok was the nerve agent used in the 2018 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

Parts of the city were locked down after the couple were exposed to the chemical weapon in March of that year.

Whilst they both survived, DS Nick Bailey was exposed and spent three weeks in hospital.

Additionally, Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley were exposed in Amesbury. Dawn passed away after being admitted to hospital.