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Pussy Riot Reflects One Year On: I Have No Regrets

Pussy Riot protest not regretted by members

Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, has spoken out one year after the band’s arrest in Moscow, telling the Associated Press, “I have no regrets.”

Huffington Post reports Samutsevich conducted an interview outside Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral, saying “I have no regrets about the performance. Many people who did not know about the problem became aware of it: the problem in our society, in the Russian Church.”

On February 21, 2012, five members of Pussy Riot, an all-female Russian feminist punk rock band, staged a performance in the Christ the Saviour Orthodox cathedral intended to draw attention to the close ties between the Russian government and the Orthodox Church.

Samutsevich and two other members of the band, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were arrested on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years imprisonment. Samutsevich was released last October following an appeal, while Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are still imprisoned in Societ-era prison camps. Reuters reports the other two members of the group are still at large, having fled Russia.

“When we got to the church, we above all wanted to make a video clip and release it,” Samutsevich said. “We wanted to start a discussion in society, show our negative view of the merging of the church and state … The problem was raised internationally, the problem of human rights was put sharply into focus.”

Footage from the performance was combined with video shot at the Epiphany Cathedral in Yelokhovo to make the clip for the Pussy Riot song, “Mother of God, Drive Putin Away,” which the band describe as a “punk prayer.”

Pussy Riot is the subject of a new documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, made by British filmmaker Mike Lerner, which premiered at Sundance last month.

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