Indie

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina Escaped Russia By Posing As A Food Courier

Pussy Riot members frequently find themselves in trouble with the law, which makes sense given that protesting is a core component of what the Russian punk group is about. For group member Maria Alyokhina, this has meant Vladimir Putin’s Russian government has kept a close eye on her. In spite of that, she managed to escape Russia recently by posing as a food courier, an experience she spoke about in a new New York Times interview.

A passage from the article describes Alyokhina’s journey:

“She remained determined to fight Mr. Putin’s system of repression, even after being jailed six more times since last summer, each stint for 15 days, always on trumped-up charges aimed at stifling her political activism.

But in April, as Mr. Putin cracked down harder to snuff out any criticism of his war in Ukraine, the authorities announced that her effective house arrest would be converted to 21 days in a penal colony. She decided it was time to leave Russia — at least temporarily — and disguised herself as a food courier to evade the Moscow police who had been staking out the friend’s apartment where she was staying. She left her cellphone behind as a decoy and to avoid being tracked.

A friend drove her to the border with Belarus, and it took her a week to cross into Lithuania.”

She told the publication, “I was happy that I made it, because it was an unpredictable and big [kiss-off to the Russian authorities]. I still don’t understand completely what I’ve done.” She also noted, “I don’t think Russia has a right to exist anymore. Even before, there were questions about how it is united, by what values it is united, and where it is going. But now I don’t think that is a question anymore.”

The feature includes more fascinating details on Alyokhina and Pussy Riot, so check it out here.

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