Pussy Riot attacked with whips and teargas at Sochi - News - Soundblab

Pussy Riot attacked with whips and teargas at Sochi

Members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been attacked with whips and teargas by Cossack militia and plainclothes security while they tried to perform a new song.

The attack happened in the Winter Olympics host city of Sochi today (Wednesday) while the group, including members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who were released from jail in December, were performing a song under a banner for the Olympics.

Tolokonnikova posted on Twitter: "Cossacks attacked Pussy Riot by a Sochi 2014 banner, hitting us with whips and spraying us with teargas, as we were singing the song Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland.”

The group had already been detained the previous day for several hours, apparently on suspicion of stealing a woman’s handbag from the hotel where they were staying. They live-tweeted the arrest, leading to heavy media presence outside the station where they were held.

When they were released, Tolokonnikova, Alekhina and three other band members performed their new song for the waiting media.

According to the Guardian, the following day’s attack lasted a few minutes, during which one of the Cossacks appeared to use pepper spray. One male member of the band had blood on his face, saying he was pushed to the ground. Police arrived on the scene but made no arrests.

However, Tolokonnikova, Alekhina and two others later staged a surprise performance next to the Olympic rings in front of the City Hall. The group jumped up and down, one playing a plastic guitar, and were even briefly joined by someone dressed as one of Olympic mascots.

In an interesting twist, meanwhile, other members of Pussy Riot, using pseudonyms, have released a statement claiming Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are no longer members of the group. The two women deny this. 

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