Punknews.org
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot








Hometown: Moscow (Russia)

About:

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33. The group stages unauthorised provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. The collective's lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the group considers a dictator, and to his links with the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The group's actions were eventually stopped by church security officials. By that evening, the collective had turned the performance into a music video entitled "Punk Prayer - Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!" The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leader's support for Putin during his election campaign. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I, said the performers were doing the work of the devil.

On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Two other members of the group, who escaped arrest after the February protest, reportedly left Russia fearing prosecution. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation and her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld. In late October 2012, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sent to separate prisons.

The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human rights groups including Amnesty International, which designated the women prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the women. Putin stated that the band had "undermined the moral foundations" of the nation and "got what they asked for". Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he did not think the three members of Pussy Riot should have been sent to jail, but stressed that the release of the remaining two imprisoned members was a matter for the courts. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013, after the State Duma approved an amnesty.

In February 2014, a statement was made anonymously on behalf of some Pussy Riot members that both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were no longer members. However, both were among the group that performed as Pussy Riot during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where group members were attacked with whips and pepper spray by Cossacks who were employed as security. On 6 March 2014, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were assaulted and sprayed with green paint by local youths in Nizhny Novgorod.


Interviews

Picture of Pussy Riot

Kerry McCarthy MP on visiting the 'Pussy Riot' trial in Moscow

Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM (EDT)

Related News

Related Stories

Videos: Pussy Riot: " I Can Not Breathe"
Pussy Riot have premiered their first ever English-language song, titled " I Can Not Breathe." The title is a reference to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island, NY resident who died…
February 18, 2015
Videos: Pussy Riot: "Witches of Pussy Riot Clean Manezhka"
Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist collective, have released a new video, which features avant-garde music by the group, protesting actions taken by the Russian government. The video is called "Witches of Pussy Riot Clean Manezhka." The video was released in…
December 31, 2014
Videos: Pussy Riot members form news service
Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina of Pussy Riot (or maybe ex-Pussy Riot, no one seems to know for sure), have formed a news service called Mediazona. The site focuses on abuses by the Russian prison system. Sergey Smirnov, who is a veteran in the…
September 08, 2014
Videos: Riot Fest announce Pussy Riot Panel, daily schedules
Riot Fest has announced a Pussy Riot Panel for Chicago, as well as daily schedules for both Chicago and Denver's festivals. The panel will be a discussion on the Pussy Riot arrests, as well as the impact of social and political movements, emphasizing their connection with art and music. The panelists will be comprised of Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina of…
September 05, 2014
Punknews Podcast: Episode 207
On this episode of the Punknews Podcast, John Gentile, Chris Barrett and Mark Little cover a range of topics, but none with more of that patented Gentile overexcitement than the Dwarves. The group also chats about the new Rise…
August 15, 2014
Punknews Podcast: Pussy Riot members sue Russian government
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot have filed lawsuits against the Russian government. The claims were not filed in Russian court, but rather, filed in the European Court of Human Rights. The basis of the lawsuit alleges human rights…
July 29, 2014
Punknews Podcast: Chicago Riot Fest announces 1-day passes and daily line-ups
Riot Fest has announced 1-day pass sales along with the daily line-ups for the Chicago version of the annual romp, September 12-14 in Humboldt Park in Chicago. This year's line-up features The Cure, The National, Samhain, Social Distortion,…
July 24, 2014
Punknews Podcast: Riot Fest announces nearly complete lineup
Riot Fest, the annual music festival, has announced a nearly complete lineup for all three of its locations. This year, Riot Fest will take place in Toronto from September 6-7, Chicago September 12-14, and Denver September 19-21. Bands included in the announced lineup include a reunited Samhain, The Cure,…
May 14, 2014
Punknews Podcast: The week of February 19th, 2014
On this episode of the Punknews Podcast, John Gentile, Leanne Cushing, Ricky Frankel and Adam White discuss stories such as the death of Devo's Bob Casale, the arrest and release of memebers of Pussy Riot at Sochi, Dave Klein rejoining…
March 02, 2014
Videos: Pussy Riot: "Putin Will Teach You How To Love The Motherland"
On the eve of their arrest in Sochi and attack by Cossacks, Pussy…
February 20, 2014

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go