FILE - In this Sunday, July 15, 2018 file photo, stewards pull a woman off the pitch after she stormed onto the field and interrupted the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. The chief organizer of Russia’s World Cup says police stopped 170 people from invading the pitch during games before four members of the Pussy Riot protest group eventually stormed the final dressed as police officers. Organizing committee CEO Alexei Sorokin has downplayed security problems despite the pitch invasion that happened in the final between France and Croatia on July 15. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Russian Pussy Riot activist is conscious after poisoning

September 25, 2018 - 12:45 pm

MOSCOW (AP) — A member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot said Tuesday he's recovering after spending two weeks in intensive care after a suspected poisoning.

Pyotr Verzilov has been at Berlin's Charite hospital since arriving from Moscow, where he had been previously treated. Verzilov tweeted that he only fully regained consciousness three days ago after being in a "black hole" for the previous 12 days. He added he was "spending days in the great company of wonderful poisons."

German doctors treating Verzilov said last week that reports he was poisoned are "highly plausible," but stressed they can't say how this might have occurred or who was responsible.

Verzilov and three other Pussy Riot members spent 15 days in jail in Russia for running onto field during the World Cup final to protest Russian police brutality.

A fellow member of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, told The Associated Press that Verzilov could have been poisoned because of his investigation into the killing of Russian journalists in the Central African Republic. The journalists were killed in an ambush in July while investigating a Russian military contractor and Russia's interests in the African country's mining industry.

She said a fellow activist felt they were being shadowed by unidentified people while they were in Berlin and called the police, who provided protection.

Berlin police said they are in contact with Verzilov and people close to him and are assessing the situation. They would not comment on any measures they may be taking.

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