Pussy Riot Press Tour Doesn’t Help Russia’s Image

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Two members of the all-female Russian punk band and political art collective Pussy Riot went on The Colbert Report on Tuesday night, telling the talk show host about their time in prison and what life is like in Russia as the country prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Pussy Riot is known for performing concerts while wearing balaclavas. The group protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin and advocates for LGBTQ rights and free speech.

“We sang a fun song in church,” they said after being asked what they did to get arrested. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24,  and Maria Alyokhina, 25, were both imprisoned for two years after being arrested for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” per the BBC. The particular performance they were arrested for was of a song entitled “Punk Prayer — Mother of God Chase Putin Away,” which they sang inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The performance was to protest the Russian Orthodox Church’s support of Putin.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina traded jokes with Colbert via an interpreter. When Colbert told them that anything bad they said about Putin would be edited out of the show, they said that they were making their own video of the interview. Colbert responded by saying “You will be searched when you leave the building,” and Tolokonnikova fired back, “We’ve had two years of practice hiding things from searches.”

“They got sick of us. Both the prison administrators and Putin who they had to report to about everything,” Alyokhina said when Colbert asked why the “dangerous criminals” had been released from prison.

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