[VIDEO] Pussy Riot Members Whipped By Police-Hired Cossacks In Sochi
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.19.2014
Billboard reports that Cossack militia attacked members of the Pussy Riot group with whips and removed their ski masks in Sochi on Wednesday. They were together in a downtown Sochi restaurant, about 30 kilometers from the Winter Olympics. They ran out wearing brightly colored clothes and ski masks, where about a dozen Cossacks went after them. The Cossacks are used by police to patrol the streets.
They tried to perform under a banner advertising the Olympics but a Cossack smashed their guitar. It lasted less than five minutes and one member, a man, was left with blood on his face after being pushed to the ground. Police questioned witnesses at the scene but no one was arrested.
The Voice Project's Hunter Heaney said: "They were whipped and pepper sprayed. Their ski masks were removed and Peter [Verzilov], Nadya's husband, was taken to the hospital where his eyes are being checked for pepper spray damage."
Verzilov said that hte group pulled off Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova's ski mask, knocked her down and attacked her with a horse whip while she was on the ground. They also attacked other members and the the smashed guitar into the trash.
The band has called for a boycott of the Winter Olympics and will release a statement later today. The International Olympic Committee previously said it would be "wholly inappropriate" for them to protest at the Sochi Olympics. Spokesman Mark Adams said that "venues are not the places to have demonstrations."
Two members were previously held yesterday near the Sochi ferry terminal and later released. They have previously received worldwide fame for protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin. Adams said the detention wasn't linked with the Games. A gay rights activist and environmental activists were also detained.