Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza says he plans to return to Russia to continue his protests against the government of President Vladimir Putin.
“Of course, I will absolutely go back to Russia,” he told CBS Television’s 60 Minutes program broadcast on March 12.
“I am Russian, this is my country, and I believe in what I do, in what my colleagues do. There are many of us,” he said in the interview recorded in the Washington, D.C., area.
Kara-Murza was hospitalized in critical condition twice in the past two years in what his family and friends suspect was a deliberate poisoning.
Kara-Murza, a coordinator for former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's nongovernmental organization, Open Russia, has advocated before U.S. lawmakers for sanctions against Russian officials and media executives.
Kara-Murza was a political ally of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in central Moscow in February 2015.
John McCain, an influential Republican senator who is deeply critical of Putin, said on February 7 in a speech on the Senate floor that Kara-Murza had suffered "another apparent poisoning" because "he kept faith with his ideals in confrontation with a cruel and dangerous autocracy."
Kara-Murza told CBS he was just one of several Kremlin critics who have become victims of unsolved shootings, questionable suicides, and poisonings.
“Many unfortunately, have died,” he said. “I’m the fortunate one. I’m still here, I’m still talking to you. Many of my colleagues cannot do that.”