After several days of speculation, doctors at Berlin’s Charité hospital, where Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was flown from the Siberian city of Omsk after collapsing on board a flight last week, finally confirmed on August 24 that he does indeed appear to have been poisoned.

While doctors attempt to identify the substance used, the Kremlin is acting as though nothing is happening, while Navalny’s entourage is convinced that he has fallen victim to a plot by the Russian state. It may take months or even years to establish exactly what happened, but the attack on Navalny is in itself a grave symptom that points to the erosion of the security resources of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.