Tolokonnikova wrote about activists she knows being ‘killed’ or ‘poisoned’ in Russia

Alexei Navalny: Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova condemns suspected poisoning of Putin critic in essay on Russian democracy | The Independent

Alexei Navalny: Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova condemns suspected poisoning of Putin critic in essay on Russian democracy | The Independent

Alexei Navalny: Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova condemns suspected poisoning of Putin critic in essay on Russian democracy | The Independent

“It must seem so horrible, but also, perhaps like the kind of thing that does happen ‘over there’, in Russia, in Belarus, in authoritarian states,” the musician wrote in The New York Times.

“It’s much more horrible up close… I have known too many attacked in a similar way as my friend Aleksei seems to have been.”

Tolokonnikova wrote about activists she knows being ‘killed’ or ‘poisoned’ in Russia
Tolokonnikova wrote about activists she knows being ‘killed’ or ‘poisoned’ in Russia(Getty Images for ABA)

Describing the attack on Verzilov, she continued: “It was horrible to sit by his bed there in Berlin, as Aleksei’s wife, Yulia, is doing now, and think I may never fully get back this person I call Petya, this person I love, this vital, funny, kind person.”

Tolokonnikova then listed the activists she personally knew who had been “murdered” or “beaten almost to death”, as well as reflecting on the band’s two-year imprisonment in 2012 after performing in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

On stage with Pussy Riot(Getty Images)

“I myself was sent to prison for two years just for singing a song, and many, many activists in my country have been sentenced to more time and suffered far worse fates,” she wrote.

“This is the reality I live with day to day, that we in Russia and my friends in Belarus are living with day to day. You learn to live with it, to fight it as you can, deal with it how you can, but it becomes your life.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a “transparent investigation” into Navalny’s suspected poisoning, tweeting: “We need a full, transparent investigation into what happened. The perpetrators must be held accountable and the UK will join international efforts to ensure justice is done.”

The Kremlin has rejected accusations of involvement in the alleged attack, while Navalny remains in a coma in hospital.


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