Pussy Riot band leader escaped Russia by wearing a disguise

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Maria Alyokhina, the leader of the Pussy Riot band, escaped Russia by disguising herself as a food courier to avoid Moscow police, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Alyokhina was set to spend 21 days in a penal colony, but she left the country before Moscow police detained her.

What happened: The Pussy Riot’s leader threw on the food courier disguise to avoid the Moscow police who were staked outside of her friend’s apartment where she had been staying, the New York Times reports.

  • She left her cellphone behind to trick the police and avoid any tracking.
  • A friend then drove Alyokhina to Russia’s border with Belarus and she traveled to Lithuania within a week.

The big picture: Pussy Riot, which was founded back in 2011 in Russia, is known for staging protests in the country that promote civil liberties.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has often criticized the band.
  • Members of Pussy Riot have faced arrests over the years. Alyokhina was sentenced to two years in prison in 2012 after the band staged a protest against Putin.
  • Alyokhina has recently criticized Russia for the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

What they’re saying: “I don’t think Russia has a right to exist anymore,” Alyokhina told the Times.

  • She said before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “there were questions about how it is united, by what values it is united, and where it is going. But now I don’t think that is a question anymore.”
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