X

Severely Ill Pussy Riot Member 'Poisoned for Political Reasons'

Pyotr Verzilov is being flown to Berlin
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2018 4:30 PM CDT
In this file photo taken on Monday, July 23, 2018, Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the feminist protest group Pussy Riot, gestures during hearings in a court in Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A member of Russia's Pussy Riot protest group says a severely ill fellow activist was being taken to Germany on Saturday for treatment after his suspected poisoning. Maria Alekhina tells the AP that Pyotr Verzilov was being flown to Berlin, but she did not give details. Independent news site Meduza reported that Verzilov's partner, Veronika Nikulshina, says a doctor from a Berlin clinic who is friends with the ill man's father suggested medical care outside Russia. Verzilov was hospitalized in Moscow on Tuesday and had remained in intensive care, Pussy Riot members said this week. Alekhina tells the AP he regained consciousness Friday. She also says she thinks he was poisoned for political reasons.

Verzilov, Nikulshina, and two other Pussy Riot members served 15-day jail sentences for running onto the Moscow field where soccer's World Cup final was being played in July. Their protest of what they described as the excessive powers of Russia's police briefly disrupted the match with a very large broadcast audience. Verzilov fell ill as new allegations arose over the March nerve-agent poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury. Several Kremlin opponents have died from poisoning or suspected poisoning during the past 15 years. Alexander Litvinenko, a former member of Russia's domestic security service, died in 2006, and journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, became sick after drinking tea on an Aeroflot flight in 2004.

(Read more Russia stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
45%
5%
6%
2%
38%
4%