Pussy Riot member in critical condition after possible poisoning: reports
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A member of the Russian punk rock protest group Pussy Riot is reportedly hospitalized and in critical condition after what those close to the band member suspect may be a poisoning.

Pyotr Verzilov is being treated in the toxicology department of Bakhrushin City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, according to Russian news outlet Meduza.

Verzilov was hospitalized late Tuesday after losing his sight, speech, ability to walk and consciousness, his partner, Veronika Nikulshina, told the outlet. Nikulshina said Verzilov started to feel unwell following a court hearing on Tuesday. The two were arrested during a day of protests in Moscow earlier this week.

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“When the paramedics arrived, he answered all their questions, saying, ‘No, I didn’t eat anything. No, I didn’t take anything,’” Nikulshina told Meduza. “He was getting worse even faster, and then he started convulsing. On the way [to the hospital], in the ambulance, he was already babbling. ... He fell into such a half-asleep, half-unconscious state that he stopped responding to me and didn’t even recognize me anymore.”

Nikulshina said that after initial tests, doctors moved Verzilov to the hospital’s toxicology wing, but refused to tell her if he had been poisoned, because as his common-law wife, she is not entitled to that information.

Verzilov’s mother also reportedly tried to visit her son at the hospital, but a friend told Meduza that staff sent the mother away and would not disclose any information until Verzilov, who was still unconscious, signed a release.

Nikulshina and Verzilov were arrested this summer after disrupting the World Cup final in Moscow.

Verzilov is known as the producer of the group, which gained international fame after two of its members were imprisoned for protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin.