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Two Pussy Riot members arrested in Moscow

Wednesday 12 September 2018, by siawi3


Crazy accusations’: two Pussy Riot members arrested in Moscow

Russian punk activist group claim arrests continue punishment for their World Cup pitch invasion protest

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

Mon 10 Sep 2018 09.12 BST
Last modified on Mon 10 Sep 2018 09.14 BST

Photo: Members of Pussy Riot performing at Byline festival in August.
Under pressure … members of Pussy Riot. Photograph: Michael Bowles/Rex/Shutterstock

Two members of the Russian punk activist group Pussy Riot have been arrested by police in Moscow.

Veronika Nikulshina was detained with an unidentified friend after being stopped while driving. “Moscow police is now claiming that Nika and her friend were refusing to agree to a ‘terrorist check’ of their car – and they had to be arrested. Crazy accusations!” Pussy Riot tweeted. “The girls have been arrested in their car for absolutely NOTHING. Moscow police is still mad after the World Cup action”, the tweet claimed – referring to the pitch invasion protest the group made during the World Cup final in July.

Nikulshina was jailed overnight ahead of a court hearing on Monday. Reports said another member of the collective, Peter Versilov, was arrested, too, outside his home. He and Nikulshina had been arrested for the World Cup protest, and jailed for 15 days.

The group’s members have long been critics of President Vladimir Putin and what they see as a repressive political climate in Russia. Their World Cup protest was accompanied by demands for greater political competition and an end to various kinds of political imprisonment.

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina recently defied a Russian travel ban to appear at the Edinburgh festival.