German doctors believe the Pussy Riot band member who fell ill after being released from prison was almost certainly poisoned, adding that he may be the victim of an unknown “anticholinergic agent.”
Pytor Verzilov, a member of the prominent anti-Kremlin activist band, Pussy Riot, that stormed the World Cup final fell seriously ill last week with members of the groups suggesting he might have been poisoned. Now doctors agree.
“It is highly probable that he was poisoned,” Dr Kai-Uwe Eckardt of Berlin’s Charité hospital told a news conference. The cause, Eckardt’s colleague Karl Max Einhäupl said, was a toxin “which we haven’t identified yet and may not be able to identify.”
“He remembers his friends and relatives, but he does not understand that he’s in Germany, that he’s in a hospital and there are doctors around him, not prison wardens,” Nadya Tolokonnikova, Verzilov’s ex-wife said. “In the very beginning he could not recognise his mother,” she added while explaining that he is also disorientated, dizzy, confused and “not fully with us as the Peter we know”.
Fellow members of the band believe that Verzilov was poisoned as an attempt to ‘intimidate or even murder him’. “It’s important to realise Peter’s life was in danger … in large doses anticholinergic drugs can cause respiratory failure and death,” the collective said.
Pussy Riot are a seven-year-old Russian feminist punk rock group who are based in Moscow. They are known for their guerrilla performances that are often described as ‘provocative’ and tend to campaign around the same set of issues – feminism, LGBTQ+ rights and opposition to Vladimir Putin, who was in attendance at the Lughnizki Stadium along with 81,000 supporters and the biggest FIFA bigwigs when they stormed the World Cup final. They were imprisoned for 15 days for their protest.
Russia, as you are no doubt aware, has a long history of state-sanctioned poisonings and it is worth noting in the aftermath of Mesut Ozil’s meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan that members from the German national team met with Vladimir Putin during the World Cup.
They received zero criticism from anybody.
Some dictators are clearly more acceptable than others.