clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

World Cup final demonstrator from Pussy Riot reportedly hospitalized; family suspects poisoning

Pyotr Verzilov was reportedly hospitalized on Wednesday after struggling with sight, speech and the ability to move around, per the report.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

A member of the punk rock outfit Pussy Riot, one Pyotr Verzilov, was reportedly hospitalized and placed in intensive care on Wednesday, according to Russian outlet Meduza, via SI.com. Verzilov was one of four members of the famous group to rush the 2018 FIFA World Cup final field dressed as police officers.

That incident was a demonstration against the continued detainment of political prisoners, censorship by the Russian government and more. The most troubling aspect of this report is that Verzilov’s family “suspects he was poisoned,” though more specific allegations were not included. Verzilov reportedly was losing control of his motor functions, with blurred vision and limited movement.

Pussy Riot is a progressive punk band formed in 2011. They have been extremely critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and have fought with Russian authorities off and on since their formation. The group considers Putin a dictator, and often focuses its demonstrations on feminism and LGBTQ+ rights.

For the World Cup demonstration, which Putin reportedly worked extensively on preventing in the lead-up to the event, the four who made it onto the field were sentenced to 15 days in prison and were banned from sporting events in the country for three years, Verzilov included.

Verzilov was also one of the two Pussy Riot members detained by police during a Russian crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights activism surrounding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.