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February 21, 2014

Russian Punk Rockers Pussy Riot Produce 'Protest Music Video'

by Mike Eckels

Russian Punk Rockers Pussy Riot have released the video for their latest single. It includes clips of protest performances during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, and, it includes violent footage of the brightly clad girls being whipped by Cossacks.

It's called Putin Will Teach You to Love Your Motherland. The newly released video is an overnight Internet sensation.

Pussy Riot talked at the Sochi Olympics. "The Olympics have turned a police state into a total police state; an authoritarian regime into a totalitarian regime with preventative arrests. In my opinion, the Olympics create a pretext for complete human rights violations in Russia," said Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

The group released the video ahead of Friday's conviction in Moscow of eight anti-Putin protesters accused of rioting during mass demonstrations in 2012.

"We want to attract maximum attention to this case because it's the biggest disgrace of contemporary Russia," said an unidentified member of Pussy Riot.

Pussy Riot has been the loudest voice of dissent in a largely protest-free Olympiad.

"This is an active boycott of the Games. We are calling on everybody who see the realities of Sochi to participate," said Tolokonnikova.

But few have. The authorities set up a designated protest zone based on Hyde Park in the nearby town of Khvosta. But it remains unused. Locals seem unaware of its status.

"Nothing's happened here," said one woman.

"Who knows? Maybe once upon a time 20 people gathered here, but there haven't been any demonstrations," said the man accompanying her.

As the Olympics wind down, Russian President Vladimir Putin's ring of steel remains impermeable to terrorists, but, the voice of protest has broken through.