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Poison suspected in Russian activist’s hospitalization

Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot activist whose demonstrations against the Russian government include running onto the field during the World Cup final, has been hospitalized in Moscow in what the protest group suspects was a poisoning attack, according to local news media reports.

Veronika Nikulshina, a fellow Pussy Riot member, told the Meduza newspaper that Verzilov lost his sight, speech, and mobility. He was being treated in the hospital’s toxicology unit, she said.

She said he started feeling ill shortly after a court hearing Tuesday and lay down to rest at 6 p.m. Two hours later, he told Nikulshina that he was starting to lose his sight.

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Paramedics arrived as his condition rapidly worsened, and he told them he had not eaten anything or taken drugs. He then started convulsing, and in the ambulance began “babbling,” Nikulshina said.

NEW YORK TIMES