Two Pussy Riot Members Released From Prison During Amnesty

Maria Alyokhina and and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova pardoned three months before their scheduled release

  • Share
  • Read Later
Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

Maria Alyokhina, member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, speaks to the media with her lawyer Pyotr Zaikin at a train station in Nizhny Novgorod December 23, 2013.

Updated: 9:24 a.m. EST

Feminist punk rockers Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova walked free from prison on Monday, months ahead of their scheduled release in March.

Both were imprisoned for “hooliganism” in 2012 for performing a “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral in protest to Putin’s ties to the Russian Orthodox church.

Tolokonnikova left a prison colony in the city of Krasnoyarsk, eastern Siberia, on Monday, just hours after Alekhina was freed in another part of the country.

“There is no new Putin,” Tolokonnikova told BuzzFeed, shortly after her release, pushing back against the notion that recent prisoner releases signal a softening tack by the Russian leader. “This is a small step back, but a small one. There are still plenty of people in the jails.”

The members’ imprisonment was largely seen as an effort by Putin to silence myriad forms of dissent sprouting across Russia after the strongman controversially took the country’s helm as president for the third time in 2012.

The punk collective Pussy Riot held several large-scale performances protesting Putin, which gained international notoriety as videos of their vitriolic lambasting of the president and the country’s corrupt politicians went viral.

Alyokhina’s was the latest “political prisoner” to be released during a string of amnesties this month as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

“It is an absolutely cynical game of the central authorities,” Tolokonnikova’s father Andrei told Reuters last week, in reference to Moscow’s efforts to placate the international community ahead of the games.

After mounting several political victories, including staving off American airstrikes against Syria and luring Ukraine away from a E.U. free trade pact, Putin appears to have grown less fearful that his former foes have the power to challenge his increasingly tight grip on the country.

Last week, Putin oversaw the release of his infamous rival and oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

MORE: Khodorkovsky’s Pardon: Another Sign Putin Is Winning

14 comments
PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

Russian has been slowly been taking over by the christian religious over the last decade. It's scary to think that this might happen in the states. But I think the USA is starting to turn the corner against the religious.  Same sex marriage, cannabis legalization, immigration reform and hopefully prostitution legalization will put the nail in the coffin of this superstition christian right of this country. Stay positive my brothers and sisters and we can beat them.

billpeck
billpeck

Putin should put the freaks back in jail, tell them they had a Christmas vacation, and keep them there til the end of time. 

ArnoldLockshin
ArnoldLockshin

How about some American-style amnesty for US Army private Bradley Manning?

35 years in prison simply for informing people about US atrocities in Iraq!

Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the US living in Moscow, Russia

StephenSwain
StephenSwain

Zampolit Putin parses mercy in a very stingy way, methinks.  The Russians never have really experienced "freedom" to be responsible for your own decisions.  One is tempted to wonder if they ever will.  It may be in the hardwiring of their collective unconscious.

DeanJackson
DeanJackson

In fact, none went to jail, the sacrilegious stunt they pulled in the Moscow cathedral being a Kremlin psy-op, a warning to others what will transpire if protest goes too far. 


The vulgar named and talentless "punk rock" group was created by the Kremlin, each member of the group being the children of Soviet era Communist  Party members.


For those unfamiliar with this subject, the "collapse" of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy" (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the "new" strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the "collapse" of the USSR in 1991. 


The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland. This is why China is buying up gold all over the word. It is believed that China currently has 3,000 [metric] tonnes of gold. When China has 6,000 [metric] tonnes it will have the minimum gold reserves necessary for its currency, the yuan, to replace the United States' dollar as the world's reserve currency, that is after the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government (the United States gold reserves is approximately 8,133.5 [metric] tonnes).


Google: 'Krasnaya Zvezda'

“Krasnaya Zvezda” is Russian (no kidding!) for "Red Star", the official newspaper of Soviet and later Russian Ministry of Defense. The paper's official designation is, "Central Organ of the Russian Ministry of Defense." Note the four Soviet emblems next to the still existing Soviet era masthead, one of which pictures Lenin's head! Those Soviet emblems and Lenin's head can't still be next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense's newspaper due to their association with the Soviet Union and its ideals of world revolution; the nations of the world constituting the Soviet Union!
The fraudulent "collapse" of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn't have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan's favorite phrase, "Trust, but verify".


Now you know why the hated Communist Red Star is still placed on the bows of NEW Russian Naval vessels (and the wings of Russian military aircraft), and why the "electorates" of the 15 republics that made up the USSR continue to "elect" for President Soviet era Communist Party Quislings. There have been 52 such Presidential "elections" since the "collapse" of the USSR (as of July 1, 2013), resulting in 40 Soviet era Communist Party member Quislings being elected. That's 76.92%! If the "collapse" of the USSR were legitimate not one such Quisling would have been elected President. In fact, such persons would have been either arrested in the interests of national security or shunned by society. Remember, Communist Party members made up no more than 10% of the USSR, and it was they who for 74 years persecuted the remaining 90% of the population.


In fact, the KGB agent Quislings that controlled the Russian Orthodox Church before the “collapse” of the USSR are to this day still in control. They were never identified and thrown out of that institution after the “collapse” of the USSR. The same is true for all other religious institutions in the other 14 republics of the USSR, including East Bloc nations, proving not only co-option of those religious institutions, but that the "collapses" of the East Bloc and USSR were disinformation operations:


Google: ‘Eleven out of 15 members of Bulgarian Orthodox Church's Holy Synod worked for communist State Security’




flowersofevol
flowersofevol

@billpeck Just wondering, can you explain why you feel that way?  Are you familiar with their "crimes," and do you think the sentences equated to the charges?  Are you sitting somewhere comfortably in the United States, glowering cynically at your computer screen, speaking critically and publicly of others, enjoying your freedom to do so?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@StephenSwain  

Number of inmates in the United States increased by comparison with 1972 in 7,6 times In 1972 the U.S. had less than 300 thousand prisoners. In 1990 it was 1 million. Today the United States, where there are more than 2.3 million inmates, tops the list of countries by number of people in custody. This is about 25% of all those serving time in the world (the U.S. share of world population is 5%). The figure of 754 prisoners per 100 thousand of population makes the United States the world leader in the ratio of the number of prisoners to total population. As the American specialist publication «California Prison Focus» said, in the history of mankind there has never before been a society which held so many of its own people in jail. More people are imprisoned In the U.S. than in any other country - half a million more than in China, even though the population of China is five times more than that of the United States.

During Obama's presidency the USA has not expanded its international legal obligations in the humanitarian field and still participates only in three out of nine core human rights treaties. The Americans have not so far ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (only Somalia has not also acceded to it). The main outstanding issue is an abhorrent Guantanamo prison. President B. Obama sanctioned indefinite and extrajudicial detention and the resumption of military tribunals.

 

DentonAc
DentonAc

@DeanJackson I liked your comment, not because of its content (you're copy/paste is amusing at best) but because, like most conspiracy theories, it is well crafted with JUST enough coincidental evidence to sway unsuspecting bystanders in to believing and replicating that trash.

Thanks man, I needed the laugh today.

DeanJackson
DeanJackson

@Robert2011GB,


I took the red pill Morpheus offered me, which allows me to see a picture of Lenin's head next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense's official newspaper, which is STILL called "Red Star". I'm also now capable of seeing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's emblem--the distinctive Soviet Red Star--still on Russian military aircraft and naval vessels.


Would you like me to ask Morpheus to contact you, so that you too may take the red pill and disconnect yourself from the Matrix?


DeanJackson
DeanJackson

@DentonAc says, "...like most conspiracy theories..."


What  theory would that be? Lenin's image next to the masthead of the official newspaper of the Russian Ministry of Defense is fact. Also fact is that the newspaper is still called "Red Star"! Since you weren't educated to distinguish between theory and fact, I suggest you seek remedial education to keep up with the news.



JustWorld
JustWorld

@DentonAc @DeanJackson Exactly! World will never lack conspiracy theorists. It is a good laugh to read through the litany of vaguely coincidental information that fits conspiracy theory narrative. However, when laugh ends, there is a bitter taste in your mouth about countless gullible souls who believe this nonsense and sometimes harm others in the name of it.


What is somewhat lost is courage of these young ladies, who knew what are potential pitfalls of their performances. Putin is a certifiable psychopath who continues to offer misery to Russian people, despite their enormous natural riches and even bigger human potential. I believe that Russians will emerge from these tyrants, but it could be long "winter" before that happens. In a mean time, we can only support these brave souls who dare to challenge tyrant and his corrupt cohorts.

DeanJackson
DeanJackson

@JustWorld says, "It is a good laugh to read through the litany of vaguely coincidental information that fits conspiracy theory narrative."


There's nothing coincidental concerning Lenin's image next to the masthead of the official newspaper of the Russian Ministry of Defense, just as there is nothing coincidental concerning the newspaper still being titled "Red Star"! 


Since you weren't educated to distinguish between what  coincidental means and what Soviet emblems are, I suggest you seek remedial education to keep up with the news. Soviet emblems used on Russian Federal property aren't coincidences, they are placed there for a purpose, otherwise Russian nationality emblems would be in their place. Very simple to understand!