Elvira Vikhareva, a Moscow-based opposition politician, was poisoned with heavy metal salts several months ago, according to a report by independent outlet Sota, citing Vikhareva’s medical lab test results.
A highly toxic carcinogenic substance, potassium dichromate, was found in Vikhareva's blood. In early December 2022, its concentration in her blood was 2.3mg, falling to 1.6mg in February 2023.
Vikhareva told Sota that the first symptoms of poisoning first appeared in late November: she experienced stomach pains, hair loss, heart palpitations and felt numbness in her limbs. Vikhareva also had seizures and fainted on multiple occasions.
According to comments from doctors, the symptoms were consistent with prolonged poisoning with heavy metal salts.
In 2021, Vikhareva ran for a Russian State Duma seat in north-eastern Moscow. According to the e-voting results, she lost to TV presenter and United Russia candidate Timofey Bazhenov. In 2022, Vikhareva came sixth in the municipal elections in Moscow's Maryina Roshcha district. In the final months before the poisoning, she had been active in blogging and attending media broadcasts.
In February, Vikhareva wrote in her Telegram channel that she was running out of “all possible energy and physical resources.” She said she began to fall ill in November 2022, initially blaming the sickness on psychosomatic symptoms and workaholism. Since the end of January 2023, Vikhareva’s condition had been getting worse, prompting her to undergo medical check-ups. The politician also claimed that she went to doctors without end, paying months of money she had saved up in fees, without getting any results.