Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33. They stage unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet, as well as reported widely by international media. Their lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, protesting the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Putin during his election campaign. On March 3, two of the group members, Ksenia Zhivago and Maria Alyokhina were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested two weeks later. On August 17, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human rights groups including Amnesty International, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013. They have since been traveling around the world speaking against issues mentioned above in Russia.
Riot Agency represents Masha Alekhina from Pussy Riot for speaking engagements.