Masked members of Pussy Riot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 18, 2014.
Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Pussy Riot attacked by Russian militia in Sochi

Updated

Just days after being detained in Sochi, members of the Pussy Riot band were attacked with whips by Russian patrol police outside the Winter Olympic gates. 

Russian activists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who served nearly two years in jail over a protest in February 2012 against President Vladimir Putin, were beaten by whips as their band members prepared to play a new song titled “Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland.”

Five members, donning their trademark brightly-colored balaclavas, tried to perform their music but were quickly surrounded by Russian Cossacks. Captured video shows officers using pepper spray and whips to stop the band from playing, and destroyed one of the member’s guitar. 

“In 2014 under the banner Sochi song ‘Putin will teach us to love our homeland’ on Pussy Riot Cossacks attacked, beaten with whips and abundantly watered pepper gas,” Tolokonnikova wrote on Twitter.

Maria Alyokhina posted a photo of her bandmate Tolokonnikova lying in a hospital bed after the attacks, and also tweeted a photograph of a protester’s bloody face after the attack. 

The video also shows one Cossack beating several of the band members with a whip and another officer ripping the masks off the activists’ heads. 

On Tuesday, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were arrested after being charged with possible theft in Sochi but were eventually released. The pair were released in December 2013 under amnesty law.

Pussy Riot attacked by Russian militia in Sochi

Updated