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July 16, 2013

New Pussy Riot Video Targets Oil Industry


The female punk performance-art group Pussy Riot has released a new music video lashing out at the oil industry, Igor Sechin, the head of Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft, and others.

Copies of the video were released to RFE/RL and The Guardian newspaper on July 16 (see a translation of the lyrics below).

Titled "Like in a Red Prison," the video was shot at oil-production sites and at a Rosneft filling station in Russia.

The video starts with a masked member of the group pouring oil on a portrait of Sechin.

The "red prison" appears to refer to the Soviet Union.

WATCH: A copy of the new video provided by Pussy Riot to RFE/RL:

In an entry on the group’s blog site, Pussy Riot explains that Russia’s revenues from the oil industry in 2012 amounted to some 7 trillion rubles (some $210 billion) "but only [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and several of his friends see this 7 trillion."

The blog post continues, "We therefore decided to independently look into oil production and sing our new song about the red prison to oil and gas workers."

The song's lyrics talk about "homophobic vermin" and suggest Russia has a "president like the ayatollah in Iran."

Lyrics also refer to opposition figure and anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny, who is a candidate for Moscow mayor. He may have those ambitions derailed due to a criminal case against him for allegedly embezzling some $510,000 in 2009. The charges were filed against Navalny after he became a vocal government critic.

Pussy Riot gained wide publicity after members entered a Moscow cathedral in February 2012 and videotaped a performance criticizing Putin.

Group members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and are serving two-year prison terms.

Pussy Riot's blog post about their new video says Tolokonnikova contributed to the lyrics for "In a Red Prison."

Pussy Riot also writes that by focusing on the oil industry, "we got to the essence of why our friends are in jail, and Putin’s friends are not."

The following is an RFE/RL translation of the song's lyrics:

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

The country has hardly mastered
Mechanized labor.
More and more often when I'm working hard --
I am rude -- don’t know if it’s appropriate.

Local activists flow down the pipeline,
Filling it with life and calling for destruction!

The country has hardly mastered
Mechanized labor.

Federal Penitentiary Service, Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, and Rosnano,
LUKoil, TNK, Rosneft, and Gazprom,

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

Get registration,
Evildoers at the oil towers,
Oil on the tables,
Sechin with crocodiles,
Like in a red prison.

Bathe the worker in the Norwegian fjord,
Cut off your penis like the Depardieu character,
You have a president like Iran’s ayatollah,
And your church is like it is in the U.A.E.

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

So, let everything be like it is in Qatar,
Evildoers at the oil towers,
Pumping till its dry,
A physics university teaches theology,
Epaulettes and oil wells,
Navalny in jail,
Hugo Chavez lives,
Like in a red prison.

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

Evil ****ing sexist, leave the hole alone!
Homophobic vermin, out from history!
Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

Don’t **** with her pussycat,
She spends oil on something else. 
In the Mordovian days' quiet,
She makes salads and sometimes eats them.

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!
RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Anastasia Kirilenko contributed to this story from Moscow.