Russia: Pussy Riot figure, Maria Aliokhina disguises herself as a delivery girl to flee her country

“It sounds like a spy novel.” Artist Maria Aliokhina, a long-time member of Pussy Riot, the notorious Russian protest group, managed to flee her country in April by hiding under the outfit of a food delivery woman. The 33-year-old activist recounts his exodus New York Times (article in English)in an article published on Tuesday, May 10.

In April, the Russian authorities announced that his effective house arrest would be converted to 21 days in a penal colony. Maria Aliokhina then decided to leave her country. The activist has been regularly sentenced since 2012, when she was served a prison sentence for playing a “punk prayer” in the main church of Moscow. In less than a year, she stayed six times in prison, each time for 15 days. On September 10, 2021, a Moscow court sentenced her to one year of freedom restrictions for violating anti-Covid rules by calling for a demonstration for opponent Alexei Navalny.

Gone without her phone

Maria Aliokhina therefore chose to disguise herself to escape the Moscow police guarding the apartment of the friend who was hosting him. “She left her cell phone behind as a decoy and to avoid being tracked”specifies the New York Times. A friend drove her to the Belarusian border, and it took her a week to cross into Lithuania. She agreed to answer questions from the American daily from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, in a studio where she found refuge.

“By the time she arrived at the Belarusian border with Lithuania, she had a Lithuanian visa which she tried to use with her Russian national identity card, because Russia had confiscated her passport. At that time , she had been placed on Russia’s ‘wanted’ list”, relates the New York Times.

During a first attempt, Maria Alyokhina was detained by Belarusian border guards for six hours. On her second attempt, an officer dismissed her. She succeeded on her third attempt. Friends were able to help her by providing her with documents that allowed her to enter Lithuania, which she considers “magical”.

“I’m glad I did it, because it’s a big and unpredictable ‘snub’ to the Russian authorities”she told the New York Times. “I still don’t fully understand what I did”she adds. “From here, [la Russie] looks like a big demon, but it’s very disorganized if you look inside. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.”, she believes. Maria Aliokhina is now preparing to carry out a fundraiser which begins in Berlin (Germany) on Thursday. She hopes one day to be able to return to Russia, but does not know when.

Leave a Comment