Pussy Riot labelled “foreign agents” by the Russian government
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  • Post published:04/01/2022
  • Post last modified:04/01/2022
(Credit: Pussy Riot)

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Pussy Riot labelled “foreign agents” by the Russian government

@SamWKemp

    It has been reported that the Russian government has labelled Nadya Tolokonnikova and Nika Nikulshina of Pussy Riot “foreign agents”. The feminist punk group have long been critical of Vladimir Putin’s regime and have been imprisoned for political dissent in the past.

    According to the BBC, Tolokonnikova, Nikulshina, and a number of other journalists and dissenters have been described as “foreign agents” in a list recently published by the Russian justice ministry. The “foreign agent” label was introduced in 2021 and implies that the named individuals are suspected of spying on the Russian government.

    Those named are required by law to indicate their status on all their social media posts. According to a statement released by the Russian justice ministry: “These people systematically distribute materials to an indeterminate circle of persons, while receiving foreign funds”.

    Pussy Riot have maintained that they will not submit to the order and have already made it clear that they will be taking the issue to the courts. In their Twitter bio, Pussy Riot have attempted to make the Russian government’s muzzling of its political opponents revealingly plain, labelling themselves not as foreign agents, but as “foreign spies”.

    They also shared a message which reads: “This message (material) created and distributed by a foreign mass media performing the functions of a foreign agent”. This was followed by a second tweet, which reads: “Two of Pussy Riot, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Nika Nikulshina, were added to the government list of “foreign agents” and required to start every tweet with this disclaimer”.

    Pussy Riot then went on to add an “official reaction” to the second tweet, in which they clarified that they would not be labelling their posts, that “the government can label their asses if they’d like,” that they will be appealing in court and, finally, that “Russia will be free”.

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