Pussy riot begins tour for Ukraine after fleeing Moscow

Placeholder when article work is loaded

BERLIN – Russian feminist arts collective and punk rock band Pussy Riot took to the stage on Thursday with an anti-war message, performing for the first time in three years, after their lead singer fled Russia disguised as a food courier to avoid police.

Speaking in Berlin at the start of a planned 19-show European tour to raise money for the victims of Ukraine’s war, Maria Alyokhina, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, described the decision to leave Russia as “spontaneous.”

It came after Russian authorities announced that he would be sentenced to 21 days in a punitive colony. Alyokhina has been arrested six times in the past year on charges of political activism, and Putin has already cracked down on political dissent since his invasion of Ukraine.

More than 4,500 anti-war protesters were arrested in a single day in March, according to a rights group. Meanwhile, describing war as a war can lead to jail-fines.

“We want to tell the truth,” Alyokhina said. “Those conscious Russians are already doing everything in their power and are being imprisoned.”

Known for its provocative guerrilla performances, Pussy Riot gained notoriety in February 2012 by performing a “punk prayer” critical of Putin at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Alyokhina and another member of the group were sentenced to two years in prison.

Their new “Antivir” show, which combines music, theater and video performances, also includes the names of captured and persecuted Russian dissidents.

To enable the tour, Alyokhina “went through various adventures,” the joint said on Instagram.

Alyokhina recounted the tragic incident to the New York Times earlier this week, describing how she had given a food delivery uniform to fool police officers who were patrolling the apartment where she was staying and left her cellphone behind to avoid being tracked. He then took a circular route out of the country via Belarus and Lithuania.

His girlfriend, Lucy Shettin, has revealed similar escapes. “An easy way to get past the cops on your driveway,” she posted on Instagram, along with a photograph of herself wearing a green food delivery outfit.

Thousands of liberal Russians have fled Putin’s wartime crackdown.

On Thursday, Olga Borisova, another member of the group, said she would leave the country once the war broke out. Diana Burcott said she packed her bags two months ago, but all members of the team wanted to return.

When asked what message the group wanted to send to Putin at their concert, Burcot said they did not want to send him any messages. In their eyes, it is no longer possible to get involved.

Borisova said they hoped he would be tried as a war criminal.

Addressing the West, all three actors stressed that it was dangerous to remain silent in the face of the Russian leader’s actions. “Evil is indifference,” said Alaykhina.

Borisova said she thought that after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, no one would talk to Putin again. Especially since it is a violation of international law and “extremely brutal”.

Instead, they were shocked at how limited the international response was in 2014 and how quickly everyone returned to normal. “Of course, if he sees that he can do it and there is no reaction, why not just go further and add more territories to start the war?” Borisova says.

“It has become so irrational,” he said, referring to the Russian government’s efforts to promote its invasion of Ukraine as a “special operation” and to prevent its citizens from understanding it as a war. He noted that anyone who buys ads on Instagram could theorize up to five years in prison for “sponsoring extremists.”

Russia blocked Instagram and Facebook in March after Facebook temporarily suspended the rules of its hate speech and allowed posts calling for Putin’s death. Subsequently, a court banned the parent company Meta as an extremist organization.

Speaking to reporters before the concert, Alyokhina was reluctant to go into details about how Russian authorities avoided leaving the country.

“I think now the focus should be on Ukraine and not me,” he said, urging countries to stop selling Russian weapons and buying its oil.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.