A member of the punk anarchists Pussy Riot is reportedly in grave condition from what appears to be poisoning.
Russian news reports claim Pyotr Verzilov has been in emergency care since late Tuesday. The reports by Ekho Moskvy radio and news portal Meduza said Verzilov has lost his eyesight and ability to speak, according to fellow member Veronika Nikulshina.
Both Verzilov and Nikulshina, along with two other activists, served 15-day jail sentences for disrupting July’s World Cup final in Moscow by running onto the pitch in the middle of play.
Pussy Riot is a feminist-oriented Russian protest group opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies. They first came to public attention in 2012 from a staged performance in Russian’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior church, which some considered sacrilegious. Two members were later arrested, spawning worldwide protests from human rights organizations and prominent entertainers.
Russian authorities have been under suspicion in the west for a series of poisoning incidents, including the March 2018 nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.