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Pussy Riot Band Member Escapes Russia Dressed As A Food Courier After Criticising Vladimir Putin

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Pussy Riot Band Member Escapes Russia Dressed As A Food Courier After Criticising Vladimir Putin

Political activist and Pussy Riot band member Maria Alyokhina has fled Russia disguised as a food delivery courier after being placed under house arrest by Kremlin authorities.

Alyokhina and her fellow band members first came to Russia's attention - and the rest of the world's - when they staged a protest inside Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow in 2012.

The band members have been in and out of Russian jails ever since.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Alyokhina knew it was time to start planning her escape.

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However in April, Russia put her under house arrest to ensure people who opposed the Kremlin's war in the neighbouring country couldn't leave.

But, she disguised herself as a food courier to dodge the police who had been staking out the flat she was staying in, leaving her phone behind to avoid being tracked, according to Sky News.

Donning a large green puffy jacket and a boxy backpack typically worn by food couriers, she was able to quietly slip past police.

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A friend then drove her to Belarus, where she tried to get over the border three times after being placed on the Kremlin's wanted list.

She finally managed to board a bus to Lithuania and was officially out of Russia's grasp.

Speaking to the New York Times, Alyokhina reflected on her daring escape.

"A lot of magic happened last week," she said, adding that her take 'sounds like a spy novel'. "They are scared because they cannot control us."

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Alyokhina also revealed what the Kremlin looks like from within - and it seems they are not all as they seem.

"From here it looks like a big demon, but it is very disorganised if you look from the inside,” she said.

"The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing."

The Pussy Riot member said she would one day like to return to her homeland, but when that could happen is a mystery as many dissidents or political activists are often jailed or forced into exile.

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Maria Alyokhina performs on stage with Pussy Riot in 2017. Credit: Guy Corbishley / Alamy Stock Photo
Maria Alyokhina performs on stage with Pussy Riot in 2017. Credit: Guy Corbishley / Alamy Stock Photo

"If your heart is free, it doesn’t matter where you are," she said.

She is now preparing to tour with Pussy Riot to speak out against President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine.

During the oncoming tour, eagle-eyed fans may notice something peculiar about her shoes.

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Throughout her journey to Belarus then to Lithuania, the Russian dissident wore platform boots without laces.

Her odd fashion choice was a nod to her time in prison, where shoelaces aren't allowed.

Instead, inmates used baby wipes threaded through the lace holes so their shoes would stay on their feet.

She told the New York Times she plans to wear her boots like this when Pussy Riot kicks off their European tour his month to honour those languishing inside Russia.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Vadim Pacajev / Alamy Stock Photo. Handout

Topics: Russia, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, News

Rachel Lang
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