Pussy Riot On The Run: Members Flee Russia To Escape Persecution

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Pussy Riot On The Run: Members Flee Russia To Escape Persecution

Last week we updated on our report on the Pussy Riot protests in Russia and that during the aftermath of three of the all-female punk lineup being sentenced to two years imprisonment that Russian authorities were continuing the hunt for the remaining bandmates.

Though fellow bandmates Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were convicted for their staged performance and protest against the Russian Orthodox Church’s support of President Vladimir Putin, held at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in May – Police have been searching for additional band members of the agit-punk group.

Well the search just got a whole lot harder for the Moscow police force, with news that two of the band’s members have fled the country.

The Guardian reports that Pussy Riot’s twitter – written in the band’s native Russian - posted that: “In regard to the pursuit, two of our members have successfully fled the country! They are recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new actions!”

Pyotr Verzilov, husband to convicted Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, told foreign press that the pair had managed to escape safely from the country and its authorities.

“Since the Moscow police said they are searching for them, they will keep a low profile for now. They are in a safe place beyond the reach of the Russian police,” said Verzilov.

He also reminded that the band was part of a larger movement calling it “a big collective”, adding: “you must remember that 12 or even 14 members who are still in Russia actively participate in the band’s work.”

Meanwhile, defence lawyers are expected to appeal against the sentences that were handed down to the three Pussy Riot members that were arrested and convicted.

Putin, the target of much of Pussy Riot’s political music, said pre-trial that the three band members should not be judged “too harshly” following his re-election to the Kremlin in May for a third term. When asked if he could help with the ruling, a Kremlin representative said he refused to interfere with the judicial system.

The sentencing of the three Pussy Riot members to two years imprisonment for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” has received criticism from both international politicians and human rights groups, but also sparked outrage amongst the fellow music community.

High-profile acts the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul McCartney, Peaches and Bjork have all thrown their support behind the Russian punk band defendants, and Madonna even penned a statement on her website slamming the verdicts as “too harsh” and “inhumane.”

Forthcoming Meredith Festival headliner Grimes, aka Canadian DIY artist Clare Boucher, who is of Ukrainian-Russian descent said that the court’s decision and the surrounding press means that “a lot of people are just realising now how fucked up Russia is… I’m not surprised at all that that situation is happening. I think it’s something that happens more than people know.”

In the aftermath of the trial, the remaining, anonymous Pussy Riot members recorded and released a new protest song in support of their jailed bandmates called “Putin Lights Up The Fires” – which you can hear below:


Facing The Music: Banned Musicians Censors Tried To Silence

Facing The Music: Banned Musicians Censors Tried To Silence

Members of Russia’s punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to 2 years jail after performing in a Moscow cathedral protesting against the Orthodox Church leader’s support...


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