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Poisoned Pussy Rioter blames security services but vows to return to Russia

September 27 – Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov, one of four protesters who staged a pitch invasion during the World Cup final and who is believed to have been subsequently poisoned, has laid the blame squarely on Russia’s intelligence services.

Earlier this month Verzilov was flown on a medical transport plane to receive treatment from doctors in Berlin who said it was “highly plausible” he was poisoned.

Now recovering, the activist, who fell ill after a court hearing, losing his sight and ability to speak, was quoted as saying Russia’s intelligence apparatus was definitely responsible.

“The poisoning was carried out so professionally that no other conclusion is possible.”

In an interview with the BBC, Verzilov said he believed he was most likely attacked either by Russia’s FSB domestic security agency or GRU military intelligence.

“The actions we do are as loud as anything happening in Russia, so for them it’s quite a big deal and that’s just the price you have to pay if you want Russia to change,” he said.

Verzilov said he had every intention of returning to Russia once he had fully recovered.

“I assume that those who once poisoned him will try again. That’s why I do not want him to go back,” his girlfriend Veronika Nikulshina told a German newspaper. “But you cannot stop Pyotr.”

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