A guide to Pussy Riot’s oeuvre

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The song’s video is released on Dec. 1 , three days before the parliamentary elections, which trigger the largest civil protests in Russia since the Soviet collapse.

“DEATH TO PRISON, FREEDOM TO PROTESTS “

The song is recorded in mid-December, days after the first anti-Putin protests break out. As many as 100,000 people turn out in the frigid cold for demonstrations demanding free elections, and the streets of Moscow ring with cries of “Russia Without Putin” and “Putin Is a Thief.”

The band performs the song on the roof of a pre-trial detention center where opposition leaders and activists are held.

“PROTESTS IN RUSSIA, PUTIN CHICKENED OUT”

The band’s breakthrough performance takes place in a part of Red Square where czarist Russia once announced government decrees. During the performance, eight Pussy Riot band members are briefly detained.

Reacting to such rallies, Putin promises to allow more political competition and to take steps to ensure the transparency of the upcoming presidential election. Medvedev proposes a law to restore the direct elections of governors.

“HOLY MARY, DRIVE PUTIN AWAY”

Before the now-historic stunt at Russia’s grandest Orthodox Cathedral that led to Friday’s conviction, band members try to play at Moscow’s Epiphany Church but are taken away by security guards. The 41-second performance at Christ the Savior, during which five band members high-kick, dance and kneel, whispering “Holy Mother, Drive Putin Away,” is interrupted by guards.

The Russian Orthodox Church’s initial response is mild. An outspoken cleric known for his liberal views calls it a “legal outrage” during Shrovetide week, when church tradition allows and even encourages carnival-like escapades and jokes.

But the band then releases the video with an actual song _ with screeching guitars and an angry chorus urging Holy Mary to become a feminist. The song also claims the church’s leader, Patriarch Kirill, venerates Putin instead of God.

“PUTIN SETS THE FIRES OF REVOLUTIONS”

Pussy Riot’s latest song is played Friday afternoon by one of the band members who had escaped arrest from the balcony of an apartment building that faces the Khamovniki court building in central Moscow where a judge was reading the verdict.

The balaclava-wearing young woman also throws out compact discs containing the song. Hours later, the band’s supporters dance to it near the court building _ before police push them away, detaining several people.

The song mocks Putin for his alleged cosmetic surgery and urges him to marry Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian leader of neighboring Belarus.

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