News / Europe

Pussy Riot Say Cossacks Beat Them With Whips in Sochi

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in the blue balaclava and Maria Alekhina in the pink balaclava, are attacked by Cossack militia in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 19, 2014.
Members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in the blue balaclava and Maria Alekhina in the pink balaclava, are attacked by Cossack militia in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 19, 2014.
Reuters
— Members of the all-women Russian protest group Pussy Riot said they were beaten with whips on Wednesday by Cossacks who are helping patrol Sochi during the Winter Olympics.
 
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who served prison sentences over a protest in a church against President Vladimir Putin, said they were attacked in Sochi as five band members tried to perform a song.
 
“Under the banner Sochi 2014, to the sound of “Putin will teach us to love the homeland”, Cossacks attacked Pussy Riot, beat us with whips and sprayed a lot of pepper gas at us,” Tolokonnikova wrote on Twitter.
 
A still photograph showed a Cossack about to strike the women, dressed in their customary brightly colored ski masks, short dresses and tights. Some of them were unmasked by the Cossacks.
 
Alyokhina tweeted photographs of blood dripping down the face of a supporter after the attack. Another showed red marks across Tolokonnikova's chest.
 
David Khakim, an activist who was briefly detained over a one-man protest in Sochi this week, said he had witnessed the attack.
 
“The Cossacks sprayed gas in my eyes. They started beating us with whips after which they started choking us in front of a police officer,” he wrote on Twitter.
 
Cossack leaders were not immediately available for comment.
 
Cossack patrolmen, who have enjoyed a revival under Putin, are being used to enforce security around the Olympic Games. Neither part of the police nor military, Cossacks, once the patrolmen of the Russian borderlands, are meant to maintain order and work with police to make arrests.
 
Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were detained on suspicion of theft in Sochi on Tuesday but were later released, less than two months after their release from prison under an amnesty.
 
The pair had been serving two-year jail terms for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing a profanity-laced protest song against Putin in Moscow's main cathedral in February 2012.
 
Western governments said the sentences were disproportionate, and Kremlin critics called the trial part of a clampdown on dissent during Putin's third presidential term.
 
Tolokonnikova said she and Alyokhina had also been detained for seven hours on Sunday and for 10 hours on Monday, though their presence in Sochi had not been advertised.
 
Putin has staked his reputation on the Sochi Games, hoping they would show the world Russia's modern face more than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: lara
February 20, 2014 12:56 AM
brave girls, good luck to them

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid