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Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov was reportedly expecting an investigative report about the murder of three Russian documentary filmmakers on the day he was apparently poisoned

Источник: Novaya Gazeta

The day he suddenly fell ill with symptoms suggesting he was poisoned, Mediazona publisher and Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov was supposed to receive the final report on an investigation into the deaths of three Russian documentary filmmakers in the Central African Republic, two sources told the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Verzilov nearly joined the expedition to collective evidence of Russian mercenaries’ activities in the country; he apparently had booked his plane tickets, but decided at the last minute to participate in a protest during the final game of the FIFA World Cup that landed him in jail for 15 days.

After reporter Orkhan Dzhemal, director Alexander Rastorguyev, and cameraman Kirill Radchenko turned up dead on July 30, Verzilov found foreign specialists working in the region and secured money to fund an investigation into the murder.

The journalists planned to film the giant Ndassima gold mine, which is reportedly being developed by the company “Lobaye Invest” and guarded by the “Wagner” private military company — two companies associated with Evgeny Prigozhin (the same catering magnate with close Kremlin ties and his own “troll factory”). Lobaye Invest supposedly “represents Russia’s interests” in CAR. The journalists planned to meet with a member of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, who was supposed to help them get access to the mines.

On September 11, paramedics brought Verzilov to Moscow’s Bakhrushin City Clinical Hospital, where he was treated at the toxicology wing before being transferred to the Moscow Sklifosovsky Institute on September 13. Two days later, he was transferred to a hospital in Berlin, where doctors announced on September 18 that “it’s highly likely that this could have been poisoning.” German physicians still haven’t identified the toxin, however, saying that it “could have been medicines or natural substances.”