Pussy Riot activist in the hospital in Moscow as a companion suspected poisoning

Pussy Riot activist in the hospital in Moscow as a companion suspected poisoning

Pyotr Verzilov, an activist from the Pussy Riots whose demonstrations against the Russian government hit the field during the World Cup final, was stationed in a hospital in Moscow where the protest group suspected a poison attack.

Veronika Nikulshina, a member of Pussy Riot, told the Meduza newspaper that Mr. Verzilov had lost his eyesight, language and agility. He was treated on Wednesday in the toxicological wing of a hospital, she said.

She said he felt ill shortly after a Tuesday trial and retired at 6:00 pm. Two hours later, he told Ms. Nikulshina, who described the newspaper as his partner, that he was slowly losing his sight.

Paramedics arrived when his condition rapidly deteriorated, and he told them he had not eaten or taken drugs. He began to cramp and began babbling in the ambulance, said Ms. Nikulshina.

"He fell into such a half-drowsy, half-unconscious state that he no longer responded to me and did not recognize me," she told Meduza.

She said the doctors had initially "found nothing wrong", but he was transferred to the Toxicology Wing around 1 am. The hospital staff would not tell her if they had made a diagnosis, she said.

"The doctor just said that his condition was serious, but his behavior improved and he responded to his own name," said Ms. Nikulshina.

Mr. Verzilov and Ms. Nikulshina were two of the four Pussy Riot activists who broke the World Cup finals on July 15. Everyone was sentenced to 15 days in prison.

Pussy Riot, widely known as the punk band who was ruthless in her criticism of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, gained notoriety in 2012 when three of her members were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison, leading to worldwide protests.

Mr. Verzilov, a longtime activist, publishes Mediazona, a website focused on criminal justice and politics in Russia. He has a daughter with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, another member of Pussy Riot.

On Wednesday, Pussy Riot called him "our friend, brother, comrade".

On Sunday, Mr. Verzilov and Ms. Nikulshina were arrested separately in Moscow. The group wrote on Twitter that the police said that Ms. Nikulshina refused a "terrorist check" on her car, an allegation that the group denied.

"This is an act of revenge for our action at the World Cup," said the group said about Ms. Nikulshina's arrest,

It was not said why Mr. Verzilov had been arrested.

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