Pussy Riot Members Beaten With Whips By Cossacks At Sochi [Watch]

Members of the Russian dissident, anti-Putin group Pussy Riot were beaten by Cossacks — Russian militia — while trying to start an impromptu performance on the Sochi Olympics grounds on Wednesday.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina — who were arrested last year after the group held a protest against President Putin in a church and served prison time — were attacked by the militia men as they tried to stage one of their music acts.

“Under the banner Sochi 2014, to the sound of ‘Putin will teach us to love the homeland’, Cossacks attacked Pussy Riot, beat us with whips and sprayed a lot of pepper gas at us,” Tolokonnikova said on Twitter.

The disturbing video of the Cossack attack on the Pussy Riot members shows the two women putting on the now famous bright colored ski masks over their heads and start performing their music in front of the Sochi sign.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were apparently pepper sprayed and their supporters beaten. Several photos of the violent incident were also posted on Twitter showing a supporter’s bloodied face and a Pussy Riot member’s bruised chest.

The attack has been received with outrage in social media all around the world, with many saying they feel “sick” at the images on the video and photos.

“The Cossacks sprayed gas in my eyes. They started beating us with whips after which they started choking us in front of a police officer,” David Khakim, an activist who was briefly detained wrote on Twitter.

The militia group — dating to the 15th century — has seen a revival under President Putin and is helping with security around the Sochi Olympic village.

Konstantin Perenizhko, a deputy to the regional Cossack military leader called the Pussy Riot incident “some kind of cheap provocation.”

As reported by The Inquisitr Tuesday, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were briefly detained on suspicion of theft and later released.

The pair was serving a two year sentence for the number at Moscow’s main cathedral when international outcry likely shortened the sentence, which ended in December of 2013.

Putin is trying to show during the Sochi Olympics that Russia has changed since the days of the cold war.

The Pussy Riot members say they were detained for seven hours on Sunday and an additional 10 hours on Monday, though their presence in Sochi had not been advertised.

[Image via JStone / Shutterstock.com]