Poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has shared his first picture from hospital as his spokeswoman confirmed that he plans to return to the country.

Mr Navalny was poisoned by deadly nerve agent novichok, according to international tests.

Posting on Instagram, he said he had managed to breathe by himself for an entire day and told his followers: “I miss you all.”

Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a hospital in Berlin

Alongside the photo, where he is surrounded by family, Mr Navalny wrote: “Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you 😍. I still can hardly do anything myself, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day long.

“I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. I liked it very much. An amazing, underestimated by many processes. I recommend it.”

The photo had 600,000 likes on Instagram just an hour after being posted.

Mr Navalny is being treated in Berlin and was put in an induced coma after falling ill on 20 August during a domestic flight in Russia.

It has been claimed novichok was put in his tea at the airport.

Two independent laboratories in Sweden and France this week confirmed German findings that he had been poisoned with the nerve agent.

Russia has denied any involvement and says it has so far seen no evidence the 44-year-old was poisoned.

Mr Nalany’s spokeswoman also tweeted on Tuesday to confirm he plans to return to Russia.

Kira Yarmysh said: “All morning journalists write to me and ask if it is true that Alexei plans to return to Russia.

“I understand the reason for the question, but nevertheless I find it strange that someone could think otherwise.

“Once again I confirm to everyone: no other options have ever been considered.”

Novichok is the same substance used to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018 – an attack Russia denies orchestrating.

Western powers, NATO and the EU have strongly condemned the latest suspected murder attempt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the use of novichok showed the “dangerous” attack was attempted murder and an attempt to silence the Russian dissident.

Samples from Mr Navalny have also been sent to the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for tests.

Mr Navalny is President Vladimir Putin’s most influential critic in Russia.

Alexei Navalny marching in memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov in Moscow in February

In 2017, he was attacked by a pro-Kremlin supporter who threw a chemical substance in his eye, leaving him partially blind.

Last year he was rushed to hospital from his prison cell, again for suspected poisoning.

Through his Anti-Corruption Foundation, he has tried to expose alleged fraud and illegal activity by members of Mr Putin’s party, which he famously called “the party of crooks and thieves”.

Russian authorities have in turn levied money-laundering allegations against him, imprisoned him on spurious charges and raided homes and offices of his associates.