Pin It
Pussy Riot rainbow flag protest
courtesy of Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot members arrested following rainbow flag protest

One activist faces 30 days in jail in connection with the LGBT+ flag action, according to a statement from the group

Following a protest in which Pussy Riot hung rainbow flags outside Russian government buildings on Vladimir Putin’s birthday (October 7), multiple members of the activist group have been arrested. One member, Sasha Sofeev, has been jailed for 30 days, the group says in a statement, while another four participants in the action were detained but released before the trial.

The action itself saw Pussy Riot hang flags outside several government buildings and landmarks – including the headquarters of Russia’s security agency, the administration of the president, the Culture Ministry, and a police station – to highlight the country’s treatment of LGBTQ+ people.

Alongside the flags, the group published a list of demands addressed to Putin and the Russian government, calling for an investigation into the killings and kidnappings of queer people in Chechnya, the ending of discriminatory legislation, the legalisation of same-sex partnerships, and more.

Two journalists were detained while documenting the action, while the group members Vasily Andrianov, Elizaveta Diederich, Nika Nikulshina, and Maria Alyokhina were seperately detained, along with Sofeev, after the fact. Video published by the group shows officers grabbing Alyokhina as she arrives for an interview at a Moscow TV station, and putting her into an unmarked van.

According to Pussy Riot’s statement on Sofeev’s jailtime, the activist was “found guilty of repeated violation of the procedure for holding a public event”, having previously participated in an action in support of political prisoners back in February 2020.

Watch the video of Alyokhina’s arrest, as well as Pussy Riot’s video documenting the rainbow flag action, below. Yesterday, the group also put out a tutorial on creating an anti-surveillance make-up look.