Update: Today the members of Pussy Riot spoke out about the lockdown and mistreatment of their members in a new video they posted to YouTube, singing in song, "“Sochi locked down/the Olympus under surveillance/Of guns and crowds of cops.” During a press conference at Sochi Park, members of the group spoke about their treatment as being emblematic of dissent being stifled in Russia.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spoke explicitly about the Olympics, saying, “The Olympics has turned the police state into a total police state and the authoritarian regime into a totalitarian regime with preventive arrests." (Washington Post)
It's a shocking and unsettling turn in Pussy Riot's drawn-out battle with the Russian government. Earlier today, members of Pussy Riot, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were surrounded, accosted, and whipped by Cossack security services during a protest/video shoot at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This comes the day after some of the same members were arrested and released for a similar demonstration in the same city. Sources claimed that Russian authorities used considerable force during that incident as well.
As you can see in the video for yourself, the group was, again, performing in costume, when authorities closed in. In a scene out of the 19th Century, a security guard starts in by whipping — yes, whipping — a hooded member later revealed to be Tolokonnikova. Incidentally, both she and Alyokhina seem to have completely returned to the group after their apparent expulsion earlier this month (though in an anarchist collective, that can be hard to confirm). Interestingly, after repeatedly pepper spraying, manhandling, and throwing members of the group to the ground, security only detained one person. With no arrests and no charges, the incident — which sent Tolokonnikova's husband to the hospital — appears less an attempt to prevent a crime than a show of force.
This video is very disturbing and upsetting, so consider yourself warned before watching. (BBC)
Video: Via BBC.