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Russian Pussy Riot activist hospitalized in grave condition; poisoning suspected

Russian Pussy Riot activist hospitalized in grave condition; poisoning suspected
Russian political activist Nadya Tolokonnikova and husband Pyotr Verzilov, both members of the punk band Pussy Riot, are photographed in Washington on May 6, 2014. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Russian news reports say that a member of Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot has been hospitalized in grave condition for what could be a possible poisoning.

Ekho Moskvy radio and online news portal Meduza reported Wednesday that Pyotr Verzilov has been in emergency care since late Tuesday. They quoted a fellow Pussy Riot member, Veronika Nikulshina, as saying Verzilov's symptoms included losing his eyesight and ability to speak.

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Nikulshina said Verzilov was being treated in the toxicology unit of a Moscow hospital, indicating a suspected poisoning.

Verzilov, Nikulshina and two other activists served 15-day jail sentences for disrupting July's World Cup final.

They ran onto the field wearing police uniforms, briefly interrupting the match between France and Croatia. Pussy Riot said they were protesting excessive police powers in Russia.

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