Support The Moscow Times!

Pussy Riot Thanks Madonna in Video Ahead of MTV Awards Show

A video in which Pussy Riot members rappel from an abandoned building, criticizing Putin and thanking Madonna and other musicians.

Members of punk band Pussy Riot have released a video in which they thank musicians Madonna and Bjork for their support of the group while they rappel down the side of an abandoned building and burn a picture of President Vladimir Putin.

The group released the video apparently in response to questions submitted to it by American TV channel MTV ahead of the MTV Video Music Awards that aired in the U.S. on Thursday evening.

MTV News said in an article that it had asked Pussy Riot to respond to the prominent musicians around the world who have expressed support for the group, three of whose members were sentenced to two years in prison last month for performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow church.

In the 1-minute-and-15-second video, three women wearing the group's trademark colorful balaclavas, short dresses, and stockings are shown on the roof of an abandoned concrete building. The women speak emphatically in English about their fight against the authorities and call Putin and strongman Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko "evil men."

"We've been fighting for the right to sing, to think, to criticize," a woman in a green knit balaclava says to open the video.

"To be musicians and artists, ready to do everything to change our country, no matter the risks," another female voice follows.

The women, while rappelling down the side of the building, thank singers Madonna and Bjork as well as the bands Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day, for supporting Pussy Riot. Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers both expressed support for the women in concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg in recent months.

The women then condemn Putin and Lukashenko, saying they are intolerant of political opposition and support of gays and lesbians. Two of the women then light flares and burn a photo of Putin hanging from the building.

A member of Green Day wore a "Free Pussy Riot" T-shirt at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported. It was unclear whether the latest Pussy Riot video was shown during the Los Angeles ceremony, at which a variety of awards were given out to popular musicians.

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were sentenced on Aug. 17 by a Moscow court to two years in prison for their February "punk prayer" in Christ the Savior Cathedral in which they denounced Putin and Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill.

World-famous musicians have backed the women's right to free speech, and human rights groups and Western governments have condemned their jail sentence as disproportionate.

Related articles:

Read more

The need for honest and objective information on Russia is more relevant now than ever before!

To keep our newsroom in Moscow running, we need your support.