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Why Is Russia Arresting Pussy Riot Members?

Russian authorities on Thursday jailed Pussy Riot member Rita Flores for 15 days on fees of disobeying police, an arrest the group mentioned was for “no rattling motive.”

Flores’ arrest is the latest in a rising string of detentions, self-imposed exiles and jail sentences towards members of the collective in 2021. 

Right here’s what it’s essential know:

What’s Pussy Riot?

Pussy Riot is usually described as a feminist punk rock and efficiency artwork collective. The group was based in 2011 by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, each of whom had been members of Voina (“Warfare”), one other politically charged activist group with an emphasis on public efficiency. 

They rose to worldwide prominence with their now-infamous 2012 “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral criticizing President Vladimir Putin’s ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. Tolokonnikova and fellow member Maria Alyokhina can be sentenced to two years in jail over the efficiency.

Since then, the group has continued to stage provocative guerrilla performances, together with crashing the 2018 soccer World Cup remaining to protest “political arrests” and Russia’s lack of political competitors.

With over 375,000 month-to-month listeners on Spotify, Pussy Riot can be identified for its hard-hitting music, with its first public demonstration being an interruption of a lecture on feminist punk with its track “Ubey seksista” (“Kill the Sexist”).

Who’s in Pussy Riot?

Pussy Riot is extra of a free collective than an outlined group, with membership usually starting from three to 11 girls at any given time.

Co-founder Tolokonnikova has described the group as “not a music band, it’s a motion,” and that “[there] are lots of people who’re simply concerned now and again doing political motion underneath the identify of Pussy Riot. It’s actually a membership of dozens of individuals.”

Why are members being jailed now?

Veteran Pussy Riot member Alyokhina, together with Victoria Narakhsa and Moscow municipal deputy Lucy Shtein, had been among the many hundreds of Russians nationwide detained whereas protesting for Alexei Navalny’s launch on Jan. 23. Alyokhina was fined 30,000 rubles ($400) whereas the opposite two had been sentenced to 10 days in jail. 

Shtein and Alyokhina are among the many 10 opposition figures criminally charged with “inciting mass violations” of coronavirus restrictions by calling on supporters to attend the Navalny protests. The 2 have been underneath home arrest since February and withstand two years in jail on the costs.

Forward of Russia’s Victory Day vacation on Could 9, member Veronika Nikulshina was detained close to her dwelling on suspicion of disobeying police. Interfax cited the explanation for her detention as “to stop doable provocations throughout rehearsals” for the Could 9 army parade on Crimson Sq..

In late June, Nikulshina can be detained a second time on what her lawyer mentioned was suspicion of planning to disrupt the Euro 2020 soccer championship in St. Petersburg, just like how she ran onto the pitch in the course of the World Cup remaining in 2018. She was charged with disobeying police orders and sentenced to 2 consecutive 15-day jail phrases.

Additionally in late June, Alyokhina, Shtein, Alexander Sofeyev and Anna Kuzminykh had been detained and sentenced to fifteen days of arrest for fees together with petty hooliganism and disobeying police orders. 

The entire members keep their innocence and say they’re being focused due to their affiliation with Pussy Riot.

The arrests are a part of what Kremlin critics and analysts say is an try by the authorities to stifle opposition exercise within the run-up to September’s high-stakes parliamentary elections.

Which members have left Russia?

A number of Pussy Riot members have left the nation or voiced their intent to go away in latest days, citing fears of persecution.

Sofeyev left Russia on Monday, telling the Open Media information web site previous to his departure that he was leaving as a result of ongoing political “persecution” of the group’s members. He added that he hadn’t emigrated and plans to return to Russia within the close to future. Kuzminykh left Russia the identical day after being launched from arrest.

Nikulshina fled Russia for Georgia instantly after being launched from her two consecutive 15-day jail phrases on July 17. She informed the impartial Dozhd broadcaster that she plans to return to Russia.



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