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Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina Banned From Leaving Russia By Security Services

The artist and activist, who spent two years in jail for performing a ‘punk prayer’, was stopped from travelling to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe

Maria Alyokhina, Domodevo Airport, Moscow, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter

Maria Alyokhina, Domodevo Airport, Moscow, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter

Maria Alyokhina, Domodevo Airport, Moscow, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina has claimed that Russian security services have blocked her from leaving the country. Alyokhina was due to travel to Scotland, for a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, based on her latest book Riot Days (2017). The event was billed as a mix of ‘punk, electronica, theatre, documentary footage and protest.’

Alyokhina tweeted from Moscow’s Domodevo Airport yesterday: ‘the guys from the FSB border service told me that I am barred from leaving the country.’ Russian news agencies later reported that Alyokhina had been temporarily banned from travel because she had failed to do community service, following a previous court sentence for ‘unapproved’  protests outside Moscow’s FSB headquarters.

Alongside Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina spent 2 years in jail after performing an anti-Putin ‘punk prayer’ in a Moscow cathedral in 2012. They were convicted of ‘hooliganism motivated by hatred’.

Pussy Riot recently made headlines with their anti-Kremlin protest at this year’s World Cup final, which saw four members of the punk feminist collective storm the pitch. Don’t miss Aliide Naylor writing on why Pussy Riot’s invasion of the Croatia vs. France match mattered: ‘In the sanitized Russia we have been watching on television screens […] the message was particularly poignant: a reminder of what Russia’s ‘normality’ really hides.’

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