Pussy Riot Posts Sochi Video as IOC Decries Whip Attack, Protest

Pussy Riot activists released a protest video shot in Sochi, the Russian host city of the Winter Games the day after footage showed them being beaten with horsewhips by Cossack militia.

The performers incorporated shots of a bloodied male associate in the video, which shows them singing “Putin will teach you how to love your motherland” and criticizing the Sochi games while dressed in colorful balaclavas and bright, sleeveless dresses, dancing in front of Olympics rings, mascots and a Sochi 2014 banner.

The pictures of the Cossacks whipping the activists were “very upsetting,” Mark Adams, an International Olympic Committee spokesman, told reporters today at in Sochi, while criticizing the use of the games for protests. “It’s a shame if the Olympics is used as a political platform.”

Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and other activists were set upon by Cossacks, who are helping to ensure security at the Sochi games, while seeking to film their video, according to footage aired on Russian state television RT.

In the music video, the group criticizes the almost $50 billion spent on the games, saying that “Sochi’s blockaded, Olympics under watch, blunt weapons, firearms, hordes of cops” while national television “Rossiya 1 shows applause.”

Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were freed from prison in December under an amnesty by President Vladimir Putin after imprisonment on charges of inciting religious hatred and hooliganism in August 2012 by performing a “punk prayer” seeking the Russian leader’s ouster at Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral in February of that year.

Russian police in Sochi detained the two activists for several hours and questioned them on suspicion of a hotel theft on Feb. 18.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rob Gloster in Sochi at rgloster@bloomberg.net; Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net; Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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