Monday, May 30, 2016


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'I Love Russia. I Am A Patriot:' Pussy Riot Strikes At Prosecutor

A screen shot from Pussy Riot's new video Chaika
A screen shot from Pussy Riot's new video Chaika
By Anna Shamanska and Michael Scollon

They have made a scene at the altar, crashed the Sochi Olympics, and taken numerous lumps for taking on Putin's Russia.

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock collective of fierce Kremlin critics, is now going after the man that lords over Moscow's version of justice -- Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika.

"Now Pussy Riot also has its own movie about Chaika," lead Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova tweeted on February 3.

None other than Tolokonnikova plays the role of Chaika, who was the focus of graft allegations made last year by Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.

Following a lengthy investigation, Navalny produced a 43-minute documentary last year accusing Chaika's two sons of masterminding broad corruption schemes to enrich themselves under the cover of being subordinates to their high-ranking father.

Pussy Riot's latest track, recorded in Los Angeles with a video filmed in Moscow, clearly lends its support for Navalny's argument.

The lyrics of the song tell the story of a Russia where, as long as you stay loyal to the leadership, you can get away with practically anything, even murder.

"Be loyal to those in power, because power is a gift from God, son. I love Russia. I am a patriot," the chorus goes.

Tolokonnikova served time for her role in an anti-Putin protest in 2012 that entered Pussy Riot into the lexicon of news presenters across the world. The protest, turned into a video titled Punk Prayer -- Mother of God, Chase Putin Away featured images of five members of the group performing in their trademark multicolored balaclavas on the altar of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Tolokonnikova and fellow Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and handed two-year prison sentences. Samutsevich was released just two months later on a suspended sentence.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina served nearly their full terms, and quickly made waves upon their release with Putin Will Teach You How To Love The Motherland, a music video targeting the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The clip showed images of Pussy Riot making a beach landing at the games and being whipped and beaten by baton-wielding Cossack militia.

Pussy Riot drew on their experiences in challenging Russian authority in creating their new song and video.

"This is an artistic tale of modern Russian and its target is citizens," Tolokonnikova said in an interview with BuzzFeed. "When we made Chaika I asked myself, 'Would my co-prisoners have understood this or not?' And every time I answered myself: 'Yes, they would have.'"

As Chaika, Tolokonnikova watches over as her "colleagues," all dressed in prosecutor uniforms, torture inmates. In some scenes Tolokonnikova is filmed at a large desk in a dark office with a portrait of Vladimir Putin hanging in the background.

As she sings, Tolokonnikova holds what seems like golden loaf of bread -- a symbol of corruption in neighboring Ukraine during the rule of Viktor Yanukovych.

WATCH: Pussy Riot Performs Chaika (English Subtitles Available in "Settings")

And the clip is replete with fowl imagery. There is the wearing of seagull masks -- another swipe at Chaika (which means seagull in English) -- that activists have used to symbolize Chaika's alleged involvement in corruption.

And the Russian double eagle features prominently in the new clip, albeit obviously patterned after the Nazi eagle.

Finally, there are the frequent images of an actress feasting on a large chicken (arguably a turkey).

The scenes, Tolokonnikova told Vice.com, symbolize gluttony, which she calls the "core values of the Russian government mafia."

Question image

How Well Do You Know Pussy Riot?

The Russian punk rock collective is back in the news with a new song and video that goes after Russian Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika. How much do you know about Pussy Riot's previous exploits? Take our quiz and find out.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Drinker
February 03, 2016 20:30
Very Brave Girls, simply Wonderfull.

by: Greg from: Canada
February 04, 2016 00:22
I love the video, wonderful message so factual. Give these ladies a medal!! Putin will be p&ssing his pants soon...I think his time is quickly coming to an end)) Not fast enough though!

by: JabbaTheCat from: Outside The Mousehole
February 04, 2016 09:29
Good video that will easily get the message across clearly to the younger generations, way better than any column of words and spread quickly as such media does in this digital age...

by: Democracy from: Earth
February 04, 2016 16:20
The seed has been planted no matter what all the Russians in denial say and shout against such brave voices.

The fact of the matter is they let Putin and his mafia rob their country blind and take them all hostage.

This is the beginning of an end of little Vlad's repulsive regime.

by: Earthling from: Earth
February 05, 2016 14:03
Anyone wishing to know the real Nadezhda Tolokonnikova should read her Der Spiegel interview (see link below) in which she said: "we're part of the global anti-capitalist movement, which consists of anarchists, Trotskyists, feminists and autonomists. Our anti-capitalism is not anti-Western or anti-European." The second photo included with that article was taken at their public sex show, poking fun at Putin's call to increase the population, with a visibly pregnant Tolokonnikova taking part. Pussy Riot is a bizarre mix of Bolshevism, feminism, anarchism, exhibitionism, and a few more isms. Be careful who you admire.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-interview-with-pussy-riot-activist-nadezhda-tolokonnikova-a-853546.html

by: Anthony Allbright
February 06, 2016 03:02
I am an American Educator. I would love to meet Alexia and ask her to marry me: giving her dual citizenship.
I would love for her to tour American Universities on lecture. I will fly to Russia, bring her to America, inter into wedlock, and let her free spirit fly across many nations!

by: Andy from: Ukraine
February 06, 2016 18:13
Great video! Would PR consider doing some stuff in Ukraine too? We have a few corruption problems here too.

About This Blog

Using regional media and the reporting of Current Time's wide network of correspondents, Anna Shamanska will tell stories about people and society you are unlikely to read anywhere else.   

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