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This member of Pussy Riot fled Moscow disguised as a food courier

Under the continued threat of imprisonment by Vladimir Putin’s regime for anti-government activism, Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina successfully fled Russia last month and was only able to escape safely from Moscow by disguising herself as a food courier.

In conversation with The New York Times, Alekhina, 33, shared how she managed to leave the Russian capital despite being under house arrest. The activist had been arrested and jailed a whopping six times in the last year, mostly for her involvement in anti-government protests, prompting her decision to flee. The food courier disguise arose as a result of Alyokhina’s movements being tracked by Moscow police, the newspaper reported. After several failed attempts to enter Lithuania at the Belarusian border, the activist, with the support of an Icelandic performance artist, managed to obtain a special travel document from an unidentified European nation. “I still don’t fully understand what I did,” she said.

Pussy Riot – a loosely organized feminist collective of artists and activists – first rose to prominence in 2012 when five members, including Alyokhina, staged a controversial guerrilla performance of the group’s anti-Putin song “Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away.” Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Alekhina was arrested along with fellow Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich and convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” (The three were sentenced to two years in prison for the crime.) While the three women were incarcerated, other Pussy Riot offshoots continued to produce and stage a slew of anti-authoritarian protests — but the collective’s inherent lack of structure born out of a need for anonymity , led to internal conflicts that led to the dissolution of the original membership core. Today, no one lays claim to the Pussy Riot moniker — though Tolokonnikova remains the most active person releasing work under the Pussy Riot banner, regularly releasing subversive electropop tracks with names like “Hatefuck” and “Sexist.”

“I don’t think Russia has a right to exist anymore,” Alekhina said Times. “Even before that, there were questions about how it’s connected, by what values ​​it’s connected, and where it’s going. But now I think that’s not a question anymore.”

Alyokhina’s Pussy Riot contributor Tolokonnikova made a similar statement in an interview with Rolling Stone in February. “It’s obvious that Putin is just a dangerous dictator who needs to be stopped,” she said. “Not only is he dangerous to the people of his country, he is dangerous to peace around the world. Many people have been half-jokingly talking about this invasion starting World War III. But there is a war in Europe. It is no joke. It is a full blown war.”

Alyochina, along with other Pussy Riot members, will embark on a short tour in support of Ukraine starting May 12 in Berlin.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/pussy-riot-maria-alyokhina-moscos-russia-escape-1351601/ This member of Pussy Riot fled Moscow disguised as a food courier

Brian Lowry

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