Pussy Riot singer flees Russia while under house arrest by disguising herself as a food courier

Maria Alyokhina posted a photo of herself on social media before making her daring escape

Maria Alyokhina posted a photo of herself on social media before making her daring escape

A member of the infamous Russian activist band Pussy Riot had to flee Moscow under the guise of a food courier after Vladimir Putin began cracking down on their kind of dissent.

Maria Alyokhina waited 21 days in a penal colony after being placed under house arrest again for her latest act of rebellion in criticizing Putin’s war in Ukraine.

The Pussy Riot leader decided it was better to leave her homeland than get lost in the Russian penal colony system and devised a daring and ingenious disguise.

Alyokhina is a long-time critic of the Russian president who first came to the repressive attention of Russian authorities when her punk activist band Pussy Riot performed a scandalous protest song at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in 2012.

This act of rebellion earned her two years in prison for ‘vandalism’ and she has continued her career of professional disobedience ever since, six times for 15 days each since last summer.

Maria Alyokhina posted a photo of herself on social media before making her daring escape

Maria Alyokhina posted a photo of herself on social media before making her daring escape

Lucy Shtein disguised herself as a food courier to flee Russia a month ago

Lucy Shtein disguised herself as a food courier to flee Russia a month ago

Pussy Riot singer Maria Alyokhina fled house arrest in Moscow dressed as a food courier. Pictured: Maria Alyokhina, left, and fellow Push Riot member, Lucy Shtein, right

Members of Pussy Riot dressed in balaclavas protest in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012

Members of Pussy Riot dressed in balaclavas protest in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012

Members of Pussy Riot dressed in balaclavas protest in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012

They sang a protest song against Vladimir Putin's repressive regime ten years before he gave the order to invade Ukraine.  They were jailed for two years for their dissent

They sang a protest song against Vladimir Putin's repressive regime ten years before he gave the order to invade Ukraine.  They were jailed for two years for their dissent

They sang a protest song against Vladimir Putin’s repressive regime ten years before he gave the order to invade Ukraine. They were jailed for two years for their dissent

Maria Alyokhina, a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, addresses media at a train station in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on December 23, 2013, while serving a two-year sentence for

Maria Alyokhina, a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, addresses media at a train station in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on December 23, 2013, while serving a two-year sentence for

Maria Alyokhina, a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, addresses media at a train station in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on December 23, 2013, while serving a two-year sentence for “vandalism” for her performance of a protest song in Moscow. Christ the Savior Cathedral in 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, May 10, 2022 in Moscow.  Since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russian authorities have effectively banned all dissent with harsh prison terms

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, May 10, 2022 in Moscow.  Since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russian authorities have effectively banned all dissent with harsh prison terms

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, May 10, 2022 in Moscow. Since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russian authorities have effectively banned all dissent with harsh prison terms

But in April, the Russian authorities began to take the gloves off when dealing with activists who previously – before the catastrophic invasion of Ukraine – were nothing but a nuisance.

She dressed up as a food courier to fool the police who were watching the girlfriend’s house where she was staying and left her phone behind to trick anyone who was eavesdropping on it to find out her location.

A friend drove her across the border to Belarus without any problems, but crossing into the European Union via Lithuania was more challenging, as she was rejected on her first attempt.

Aljochina told the NY Times that Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson convinced a European country to provide Ms Alyokhina with a travel document that essentially gave her the same status as an EU citizen. The country’s officials asked not to be named.

The document was smuggled to her, eventually allowing her to enter Lithuania a week after arriving in Belarus and escaping the clutches of Putin’s security apparatus.

“A lot of magic happened last week,” she said. “It sounds like a spy novel.”

Masked members of protest band Pussy Rot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, 18 February 2014.

Masked members of protest band Pussy Rot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, 18 February 2014.

Masked members of protest band Pussy Rot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, 18 February 2014.

Two members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were arrested in connection with a theft in the Winter Olympic host city, Sochi, less than two months after being released from prison under amnesty

Two members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were arrested in connection with a theft in the Winter Olympic host city, Sochi, less than two months after being released from prison under amnesty

Two members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were arrested in connection with a theft in the Winter Olympic host city, Sochi, less than two months after being released from prison under amnesty

Maria Alyokhina smiles at her supporters as she is delivered to the Khamovnichesky court in Moscow, Russia.

Maria Alyokhina smiles at her supporters as she is delivered to the Khamovnichesky court in Moscow, Russia.

Maria Alyokhina 'Pussy Riot' during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia - July 04, 2012

Maria Alyokhina 'Pussy Riot' during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia - July 04, 2012

Maria Alyokhina was arrested in 2012 after the Pussy Riot performance, wearing balaclavas of a protest song at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in February 2012.

Now in Vilnius, she is joined by a growing number of Pussy Riot members, as activists of all walks of life leave Russia in the wake of the Russian state’s decision to crush all previously tolerated dissidents.

After Moscow began its “special operation” on February 24, the state duma quickly passed laws banning any reporting it called a “war” or “invasion,” with a prison term of up to 15 years.

In 2013, Alyokhina founded Mediazona, a news channel that focuses on abuses in Russian prisons.

The entire Pussy Riot collective has been repeatedly harassed and attacked on politically motivated grounds by the Russian authorities.

“They’re afraid because they can’t control us,” she said.

Alyokhina will join her friend and fellow Pussy Riot member Lucy Shtein in exile in the European Union, along with tens of thousands of Russians who have recently fled Russia.

Source: New feed