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Pussy Riot Releases Protest Track Dedicated to Members Jailed for World Cup Protests

A woman in a police uniform is held on each arm by men wearing bright vests.
Stewards escort a member of Pussy Riot off the field during the final football match between France and Croatia at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Mladen Antonov/Getty Images

Punk-rock group Pussy Riot released a new song and video on Tuesday following the protest at the World Cup finals in Moscow that landed four of their members in jail. The video for “Track About Good Cop” is an extension of that protest and features several people dressed as Russian police officers dancing in a club, outside in the snow, and in a car.

On Sunday, four members of Pussy Riot ran out onto the field dressed as police officers during the final match between France and Croatia at the World Cup, in a stunt intended to demand the release of political prisoners and end detention at political rallies. In a Facebook post, the group explained the significance of the demonstration, citing inspiration from the Russian poet Dmitri Prigov.

The heavenly policeman, according to Prigov, talks on the two-way with the God Himself. The earthly policeman gets ready to disperse rallies. The heavenly policeman gently touches a flower in a field and enjoys Russian football team victories, while the earthly policeman feels indifferent to Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike. The heavenly policeman rises as an example of the nationhood, the earthly policeman hurts everyone.

The heavenly policeman protects baby’s sleep, the earthly policeman persecutes political prisoners, imprisons people for “reposts” and “likes”.

The heavenly policeman is the organizer of this World Cup’s beautiful carnival, the earthy policeman is afraid of the celebration. The heavenly policeman carefully watches for obeying the game rules, the earthly policeman enters the game not caring about the rules.

On the same day as the release of the song, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the group’s favor over a 2012 “punk prayer” they staged at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The verdict came shortly after the four protesters involved in the World Cup stunt each received 15 days in jail.

Along with the song and video, Pussy Riot released a list of demands of the Russian government:

1. Free Pussy Riot members Olga Pahtusova, Olga Kuracheva, Nika Nikulshina, Peter Verzilov, who are jailed for 15 days for their “Policeman Enters The Game” action during the World Cup.

2. Free Oleg Sentsov and other political prisoners.

3. Don’t put people in jail for likes and reposts.

4. Stop mass arrests at political rallies.

5. Stop fucking with Navalny.

6. Stop imprisoning so many people for 228 article of Criminal code (drug offenses).

7. Cancel 282 article of Russian Criminal code (“extremism”, one of the main political criminal articles)

8. Freedom of speech and expression in Russia.

9. Give a federal TV-channel to an activist media outlet “Mediazona” (zona.media)