Russia puts Pussy Riot Founder on Wanted List

March 29, 2023

Nadya Tolokonnikova, the founder of Russia’s anti-establishment punk rock group Pussy Riot, has been added to the Russian Interior Ministry’s wanted list.

Her name appeared on a the Ministry’s registry of wanted suspects Wednesday, though the Ministry did not specify on what charges she’s wanted by Russian authorities.

According to media reports from earlier this month, however, an investigation had been launched against her on a charge of “insulting believers’ religious feelings,” which may stem from recent online posts she’s made.

Tolokonnikova became widely known in 2012 when she took part in a Pussy Riot protest inside Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, after which she and another band member were arrested and sentenced to two years in a Russian penal colony.

The band members were charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” During their performance in the Cathedral they reportedly conveyed a “punk prayer” that began, “Birth-giver of God, drive away Putin!”

It was in 2012 that offending a religious believers’ feelings became a criminal offense in Russia. 

Tolokonnikova and bandmate Maria Alyokhina had almost completed serving their two-year prison sentences when they were freed in December 2013 under an amnesty—though the pair dismissed the move as public relations-related ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

In late December 2021, the Russian Justice Ministry added Tolokonnikova to its registry of “foreign agents,” which Russian authorities have used to stifle dissent. 

Reports suggest that Tolokonnikova has moved from Russia to live in the U.S.

PHOTO: Nadya Tolokonnikova at a protest, February 2012. 

Source: Denis Bochkarev

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

Related

Newsletter

Get the featured stories in your email and don't miss out on important news.

Previous

AAA predicts busiest ever holiday travel season

Next

AAA predicts busiest ever holiday travel season