Pussy Riot is a feminist punk collective from Moscow. They hide their faces under coloured balaclavas, use nicknames to remain anonymous and perform unsanctioned concerts in peculiar places. Since their emergence last autumn Pussy Riot have performed in underground station, in shops and on trolleybuses and detention centres’ roofs.
Pussy Riot came to the attention of Russia’s anti-extremist police in late January, when they performed an anti-Putin song in the Red Square right in front of Kremlin. The performers were arrested and had to spend several hours in a police cell.
But this week’s “concert” brought them real public attention after they performed what they called a punk prayer “Mother of God, send Putin away” in Moscow’s biggest Orthodox Cathedral. It is the Cathedral high-ranking officials usually attend on the biggest Orthodox holidays. The leader of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is a Putin supporter.
The band got into the cathedral just like regular parishioners, but then started dancing and shouting out anti-Putin words:
KGB head is the biggest saint, who leads protesters to pre-trial prisons … The Patriarch believes in Putin. He should rather believe in God … Mother of God, become a feminist… Send Putin away
The group managed to evade the cathedral’s security, and no one was arrested. Even if one of them did get arrested, she would be quickly replaced, the women explained to journalists. Pussy Riot has no leaders or permanent participants — they are just an anonymous group of punk feminists fighting authoritarianism.