“Pussy Riot” activist Alyokhina: this is how I escaped Putin’s Russia despite house arrest

She has already spent two years of her life in a prison camp because she and her ‘Pussy Riot’ comrades protested against Vladimir Putin (69) and his system of power in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in 2012 However, this did not prevent Maria Alyokhina (31) from continuing to engage in political activities against the dictatorship in Russia after her release.

Now the singer, who has been under house arrest by the Kremlin, has managed a spectacular escape to the West – at BILD she describes her journey out of Putin’s Russia.


The escaped activist Foto: BILD TV

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Escaped ‘Pussy Riot’ activist Maria Alyokhina fled in the uniform of a delivery service Photo: BILDTV

Because she called on Instagram in January 2021 to take to the streets to protest for political prisoners, Alekhina was initially given a one-year suspended prison sentence. She was placed under house arrest and had to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.

“When the war started, I decided to tour Europe to perform our anti-Putin songs to protest the war in Ukraine,” the fearless singer told BILD. “So I first cut off the electronic ankle bracelet, left my mobile phone in the apartment so it wouldn’t be tracked and first fled to a friend’s apartment.

The next day, when we noticed that there were plainclothes police in the car outside her house, I put on a delivery man’s uniform and slipped through the back entrance of the building.

Friends of the singer then brought her to the Belarusian border. As the Russian authorities had previously withdrawn her passport, she was only able to cross the border here without being checked. Reason: an agreement between Belarus and Russia (comparable to Schengen in the EU).

After that, on the third attempt, she managed to walk across the border to Lithuania and thus get to safety.


The mark of Foto: Uwe Anspach/dpa

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The hallmark of “Pussy Riot”: colorful balaclavasPhoto: Uwe Anspach/dpa

“I know what the system of Russian prison camps means, I spent two years there and I had to work there like a slave”, says the singer. “But I was not afraid of ending up in prison again. It was now important for me to protest against the war. And I can only do this with complete freedom.

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