Today marks the first anniversary of the arrests of the members of the punk band Pussy Riot. Three of the band’s members were arrested on charges of hooliganism for performing their protest song Punk Prayer in Christ the Savior Church in Moscow. Pussy Riot was protesting the closer relationship between Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.
To mark the anniversary of their arrest, protesters donned balaclavas and visited the church where the band members were arrested. Two college professors were arrested after they laid flowers on the altar and removed their masks.
Pussy Riot has wide support and a number of prominent people have called for their release, including entertainers, activists and government leaders. You may even have noticed ladies on Hot Russian Brides adding variations of “Pussy Riot” to their screen names.
Two of Pussy Riot’s members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, are serving two year prison sentences in separate institutions in Siberia. The third, Yekaterina Samutsevich, had her sentence turned over on appeal, and received a suspended sentence. Nadezhda and Alykhina are due to be released March 14, 2014.