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Bill Maher Tells Pussy Riot: Vladimir Putin Might Be Gay — VIDEO

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Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of  Russian protest group Pussy Riot sat down with Bill Maher last night, Mediaite reports:

The extended conversation, with translation help from Tolokonnikova’s husband Petr Verzilov, touched on a lot of issues, but one particularly funny moment call when Maher asked the group, “What is with the gay hate over there?”

“Vladimir Putin talks a lot about, ‘we’ve got to check the gays,’” Maher continued. “And in my experience, any time somebody talks a lot about how we have to get the gays in line, I mean, it turns out that they’re really gay themselves. I mean, every time I see a picture of Putin, he’s got his shirt off.”

“People think that that might be the case,” Alyokhina said to Maher’s genuine surprise. “So far we haven’t seen his active side of that, in that area.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Pussy Riot Releases 'Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland' VIDEO

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On the heels of yesterday's public square whipping by Russian Cossacks, Pussy Riot has released its latest video, "Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland", a rough "Olympics-centric protest song" as Animal reports:

The lyrics condemn the corruption, surveillance and censorship in Sochi, the jailing of anti-Olympics environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko, the homophobia of Olympic torchbearer and the persecution of May 6 anti-Putin protestors.

It also features footage shot yesterday when Nadya Tolokonnikova, Masha Alyokhina and others were viciously horsewhipped and beaten by Sochi’s conservative, religious Cossack militia, including video filmed from right under their whips and their injured male art-bandmate wiping the blood from his face on a cop.

The group writes in the video's description:

Freedom to all political prisoners on the May 6 case, to the environmentalist Evgeny Vitishko and all other political prisoners! See you at the Zamoskvoretsky court in Moscow on February 21 at 12.00 - when the judge will start to read the sentence for the May 6 case.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Pussy Riot Members Beaten, Whipped by Russian Cossacks: VIDEO

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Members of the punk group Pussy Riot were attacked on Wednesday in a public plaza in Sochi while preparing to make a video of a new protest song called "Putin will teach you how to love your Motherland."

2_cossacksJust after beginning the performance, a group of Russian Cossacks branding whips and pepper spray began attacking the group members, the WaPo reports:

Alyokhina tweeted a photo Wednesday of a young man who had joined the five women for the performance — usually they perform as a feminist collective. He had a bloodied face, an injury Alyokhina said was suffered in the attack. She posted another photo of a woman with red marks on her chest.

Tolokonnikova, who was knocked to the ground and hit with a whip, tweeted that her husband, Pyotr Verzilov, had been taken to the hospital, unable to see because of the pepper spray. And David Khakim, a Sochi environmental activist, tweeted that police detained one man for questioning but let the others go.

“We were attacked by 10 Cossacks and men in civilian clothes,” he tweeted.

The Cossacks, descended from czarist-era horsemen who patrolled the borders of the Russian empire, are remembered historically for leading pogroms against Jews. Today they are socially conservative and ardent supporters of the Russian Orthodox Church. Recently, they have been revived as a sort of volunteer citizen patrol, and about 800 of them have supplemented the police providing security for the Winter Games here.

The attacks on Pussy Riot come a day after they were arrested and held for hours without being charged.

Watch video of the attacks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Pussy Riot Arrested in Sochi Under Pretext of Theft: VIDEO

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Maria Alyokhina, two members of Pussy Riot who were recently in the U.S. (you saw them here for their hilarious appearance on The Colbert Report) were detained by police while walking around Sochi, they said via Twitter, accused of an unspecified crime.

Photos taken by Tolokonnikova (above and below) from the police van were posted to Twitter. "Masha Alekhine, and I another participant Pussy Riot go to the police department," says one.

The NYT reports:

In a series of messages on Twitter, Ms. Tolokonnikova said that the two women had been also been detained on Sunday and Monday. On Monday, she said they were held by the Federal Security Service, known as the F.S.B.

“On the 16th we were detained for seven hours,” she wrote. “On the 17th, we spent 10 hours with the F.S.B. and today we are in a police wagon, accused of theft.”

Ms. Tolokonnikova wrote that they had come to Sochi intended to carry out a protest.

“We are in Sochi to hold a Pussy Riot action,” she wrote. “The song is called, ‘Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland.” However, she said they had not yet carried out any protest and were merely walking in Sochi when they were stopped by the authorities on Tuesday.

Eight people altogether were arrested with the women as they walked to the Sochi seaport, a local activist reported.

Watch a Euronews report on the detention, AFTER THE JUMP...

The arrests come just a day after trans Italian activist and former MP Vladimir Luxuria was harassed and detained for a second time after she appeared at the Olympic village in a rainbow outfit. Luxuria was scheduled to be escorted to the airport and asked to leave today, according to Italian media.

The Sochi authorities seem very eager to suppress anyone they think might engage in political protest within sight of the Olympic village.

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Pussy Riot Members May Run for Seats in Moscow City Parliament

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Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, who were jailed for nearly two years for staging a protest in a Russian church, may run for seats in the Moscow assembly, the AP reports:

Nadia Tolokonnikov, appearing alongside fellow band member Maria Alekhina at an event on the sidelines of the Berlin film festival Monday, said the move into politics "is worth a try." The election will most likely be held in September, although no exact date has been set.

Make sure not to miss their recent appearance on Colbert.


Madonna Introduces Pussy Riot in Brooklyn with Speech About Human and Gay Rights: VIDEO

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Madonna introduced Pussy Riot last night at an Amnesty International concert in Brooklyn and prefaced her introduction with a speech about human rights abuses and anti-gay oppression in Russia and around the world.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(image below via instagram)

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