Straight.com March 25 2013 – Pussy Riot give 60 Minutes exclusive interviews and access

Photo by Igor Mukhin

Photo by Igor Mukhin

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk protest girl group of which two members—both mothers—are currently in work camps, granted Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes exclusive access to their secret music studio and an interview with drummer “Kot”.

Kot is still underground, Stahl reports, a year after the trial and conviction of her bandmates, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina, who received two years in prison for hooliganism.

The women were arrested in March 2012, after they staged a protest on the soleas of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Russia’s largest cathedral, on February 21, 2012. The action was in protest of the cathedral’s patriarch calling Vladimir Putin “a miracle from God,” they said. They then turned the protest into a video: “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!“, which went viral.

Stahl calls the girls “idealistic and brave”. When asked if she regrets her actions, Samutsevich, who was released, answers “it’s a fight, an ongoing fight. Just because there was a court case doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop and shut our mouths. We have a lot of things to say, we’re going to continue the work, continue to do what we do.”

Interestingly, Stahl interviews political analyst Sergey Markov, an advisor to Putin’s staff, who admits that the government had trouble finding something to charge the women with.

Also, the incarceration of the young mothers has had a negative effect on Russia’s international image, Markov says, stating that Russian nationals are now unable to travel with ease to Germany, France, or Italy for example. He also says foreign investment into the Russian economy has been flagging.

Markov confirms that these factors are a direct result of the conviction of the Pussy Riot members. However, he states, “We have to do [this] because we have to protect ourselves. Because if we be weak, our image will be even worse.”

Read the story at Straight.com

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