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  1. ITV Report

Severely ill Pussy Riot member to be treated in Germany

Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the feminist protest group Pussy Riot. Photo: AP/Press Association Images

A member of Russian protest group Pussy Riot who fell severely ill after a suspected poisoning is set to be taken to Germany for treatment.

Pyotr Verzilov, one of four Pussy Riot members to be jailed after invading the World Cup final pitch in July, was admitted to intensive care in Moscow on Tuesday.

Associates of Mr Verzilov believe he was poisoned for political reasons.

Maria Alekhina said that Mr Verzilov would be flown to Berlin, but she did not give further details.

Independent news site Meduza reported that a doctor from a Berlin clinic – who is friends with the ill man’s father – suggested medical care outside Russia.

Pyotr Verzilov has been treated in intensive care. Credit: AP

Mr Verzilov, Ms Nikulshina and two other Pussy Riot members served 15-day jail sentences for running onto the Moscow field where the 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.

Mr Verzilov fell ill as new allegations arose over the March nerve-agent poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in 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, succumbed slowly in London after ingesting a radioactive isotope in 2006. He fell ill hours after meeting with two Russians whom Britain claimed were the assassins.

Mr Verzilov was one of four Pussy Riot members who invaded a World Cup pitch. Credit: AP

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, became sick after drinking tea on an Aeroflot flight in 2004.

She was travelling to southern Russia to try to help negotiate the Beslan crisis in which Chechen militants took hundreds of schoolchildren hostage.

Poison was mentioned as a possible cause of her symptoms. Ms Politkovskaya survived, but was shot and killed in the elevator of her apartment building two years later.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent opposition figure, nearly died of kidney failure after a suspected poisoning in 2015 and fell severely ill again in 2017.