Pyotr Verzilov

Pyotr Verzilov is a Russian performance artist, political activist, and founder of the news website MediaZona.

After the 2012 imprisonment of his ex-wife, Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, he became the group’s unofficial spokesman, giving interviews to the BBC, Der Spiegel, and others.

In 2014 he founded MediaZona, a website reporting on corruption in the Russian law enforcement system. He was poisoned, presumably in connection with this work, in 2018. Pussy Riot immediately blamed the Russian government for his condition, and an examination in Berlin’s Charite hospital concluded that it was ‘highly probable’ he was indeed poisoned by state actors.

He has since made a full recovery.