About The Band
YEARS ACTIVE : 2011
HOME CITY : Moscow
Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk-rock group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, the band stages provocative performances about Russian political life in unusual and unauthorized locations, such as Lobnoye Mesto in Red Square, on top of a trolleybus, or on a scaffold in the Moscow Metro.
On February 21, 2012, four members of the group staged an illegal performance (while another one filmed the event), described as a "punk prayer", on the soleas of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. During this performance, they invoked the Virgin Mary to get rid of Russian President Vladimir Putin, used crude language and attacked Putin and Kirill I, the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Their actions were stopped by church security officials. On March 3, after a video of the performance appeared online, three of the group members were arrested and charged with hooliganism.
Their trial began in late July and raised much controversy globally. Within Russia, however, it aroused little sensation. According to a poll by the Levada Center, 44% of Russians supported the trial and believed in its fairness, while 17% did not. At the same time, the band members gained some noticeable support in Russia and internationally because of allegations of harsh treatment while in custody and the risk of a possible seven-year jail sentence. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred (Article 213.2 of the Criminal Code) and each sentenced to two years imprisonment. The Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement appealing to the authorities to show clemency, within the framework of the law. The trial and conviction have attracted international criticism. The foreign ministries of Germany and Sweden, together with representatives of the European Union and the United States, called the sentence "disproportionate"
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