Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
03:54 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
18 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Pussy Riot still wants to topple Putin
Associated Press
Russian punk band Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, and Maria Alekhina attend a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Russian punk band Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, and Maria Alekhina attend a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
A+ A-

MOSCOW: Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who spent nearly two years in prison for their irreverent protest in Moscow's main cathedral said Friday they still want to topple President Vladimir Putin.

They didn't say how they plan to do it.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were among three members of the band arrested after its brief, unauthorized performance in Christ The Savior Cathedral in March 2012, calling on the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Putin who was on the verge of being elected to a third term in office.

All three were convicted of hooliganism. Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were released this week under an amnesty measure; the third was released on a suspended sentence last year.

Visibly nervous Tolokonnikova and Alekhina flew into Moscow Friday morning and held a two-hour news conference in the afternoon. Both insisted that their release did not change their attitude to the president and the system of government he has built.

"As for Vladimir Putin, we still feel the same about him," Tolokonnikova said, referring to the chorus in their song, "Mother of God, drive Putin away."

"We still want to do what we said in our last performance for which we spent two years in prison: drive him away."

Tolokonnikova said "the scariest thing about Putin's Russia is the impossibility to speak and be heard" and suggested that former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was pardoned earlier this month after spending 10 years in prison, would make a better president.

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina steered most of the questions toward speaking about their plans to form an organization to help Russian inmates. Tolokonnikova said Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny will help raise funds for the organization.

In September, Tolokonnikova published a long letter from her penal colony detailing harsh conditions for inmates including long hours that they put in at the prison workshop.

Both women described Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who was expelled from the country in 1976 and has been living in the United Kingdom since then, as their role-model. Tolokonnikova hailed him as a "human rights champion undeterred by fear."

The band members rejected suggestions of playing shows in Russia or abroad, saying activism is more important to them.

"We're not going to give shows," Alekhina said. "We're just not interested."

The two women lambasted the law adopted this year that bans so-called propaganda supporting non-traditional sexual orientations from being made available to minors.

Tolokonnikova reiterated her call to world leaders to boycott the Winter Olympics which will be held in Sochi in February, saying that visiting the Games will be a "political decision to support what Vladimir Putin is doing."

 
Home International
 
     
 
Russia
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS