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″Like a spy novel″: Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina fled Russia | News from Germany about Russia | DW

Punk band member Pussy Riot Maria Alyokhina fled Russia, disguised as a delivery service employee. She told about it in an interview with The New York Times (NYT), published on Tuesday, May 10.

According to the NYT, Alyokhina decided to leave Russia after the Presnensky Court of Moscow on April 21 decided to replace her sentence. with restriction of freedom for a real term.

To hide from the Moscow police, Alyokhina had to change into the uniform of a Delivery Club courier. Then a friend took her to the border of Belarus and Lithuania. Alyokhina had a Lithuanian visa and a Russian internal passport – her foreign passport was taken away from her. She was able to cross the border only a week later.

On her first attempt to cross the border, she was detained by Belarusian border guards for six hours, but then released. The second time the officer on duty did not let her through, but did not detain her. Alyokhina was able to cross the border only on the third attempt, thanks to friends outside the country. One of them, Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson, persuaded a European country, which wished to remain anonymous, to grant Alyokhina a travel document that gives her essentially the same status as EU citizens. This document was secretly delivered to Belarus, after which Alyokhina was able to take a bus to Lithuania.

“I was happy I did it because it was unpredictable and a big ‘fuck off’ (Alekhina used a stronger expression, the NYT notes) to the Russian authorities. “I still don’t fully understand what I did,” the activist told the NYT.

According to the publication, during the interview next to Alyokhina were other members of Pussy Riot, who were forced to leave Russia, including Alyokhina’s girlfriend, a Moscow municipal deputy Lucy Stein. She announced her departure from Russia on 8 April. According to the NYT, Stein also had to disguise himself as a Delivery Club courier.

“Sounds like a spy novel,” Alyokhina says of her escape. According to her, she was able to travel to Europe, despite the fact that her put on the wanted listthanks to the chaotic nature of Russian law enforcement: “From here they look like a big demon, but when viewed from the inside, they are very disorganized. The right hand does not know what the left is doing.”

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