What You Need To Know About Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is an activist organization currently on trial in Russia for offending both church and Putin. Here’s a primer to get you up to speed.

1. This Is Pussy Riot, A Female Punk Collective In Russia

Denis Sinyakov / Reuters

2. They’re Fond Of Staging Public Protests In Which They Wear Colorful Ski Masks And Dance To Loud Music

Denis Sinyakov / Reuters

3. Pussy Riot Rails Against Russia’s Oppresive Authoritarianism And Champion Equal Rights

Denis Sinyakov / Reuters

4. Pussy Riot Is A Frequent And Vocal Critic Of Both Russian President Vladimir Putin And Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev

Denis Sinyakov / Reuters

5. Here They Are Last December Showing Solidarity In Front Of A Detention Center That Houses Prominent Dissidents

Denis Sinyakov / Reuters

6. But The Stunt That REALLY Got Them In Trouble Was This One In February, When They Stormed The Pulpit At Christ The Savior Cathedral

7. They Started Chanting “Mother Mary, Drive Putin Away” (Along With A String Of Obscenities) While Dancing A Can-Can, Calling It Their “Punk Prayer”

8. At The Insistence Of The Russian Orthodox Church, Who Denounced The Act As “Blasphemy,” Three Members Of Pussy Riot Were Arrested And Charged With “Hooliganism”

Tatyana Makeyeva / Reuters

9. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich All Face Up To 7 Years In Prison

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

10. Their Arrest Has Triggered Protests Around Russia And Europe, Such As This Demonstration In Prague

David W Cerny / Reuters

11. Amnesty International Has Declared The Three “Prisoners Of Conscience,” Who Are Being Held “Solely For The Peaceful Expression Of Their Beliefs”

David W Cerny / Reuters

12. The Arrests Have Deeply Divided Russia, Even Sparking This Clash Between Russian Orthodox Christians And Supporters Of Pussy Riot

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

13. Pussy Riot Has Galvanized The Arts Community In Russia, With Hundreds Of Prominent Public Figures Signing Open Letters And Petitions Demanding The Freedom Of The Three Women

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

14. Artist Pyotr Pavlensky Actually Sewed His Mouth Shut To Symbolize The Silencing Of Pussy Riot

Handout / Reuters

15. The Trial Of The Pussy Riot Three Began Last Friday And Supporters Are Skeptical They Can Recieve Impartial Treatment In What Is Widely Considered A Pro-Putin Judicial System

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

16. Here’s The Now Infamous Performance That Could Send Three Young Women, Two Of Them Recent Mothers, To Jail For 7 Years

17.

TRANSLATED LYRICS:

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners are crawling and bowing
The ghost of freedom is in heaven
Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend the Holy
Women have to give birth and to love

Holy shit, shit, Lord’s shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord’s shit!

(Chorus)
St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist
Become a feminist, Become a feminist
(end chorus)

Church praises the rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
In school you are going to meet with a teacher-preacher
Go to class - bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, you better believed in God
Belt of the Virgin is no substitute for mass-meetings
In protest of our Ever-Virgin Mary!

(Chorus)
St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!

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