Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich of Pussy Riot (AP/Misha Japaridze)

Pussy Riot for president!

Members of Pussy Riot tell the New York Times that running for office would be a "very interesting opportunity"


Katie McDonough
February 6, 2014 7:39PM (UTC)

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova survived 21 months in a Russia's penal system, incited an international movement around freedom to protest and prisoners' rights, charmed Stephen Colbert, and are now mulling a future in politics.

Well, not actively mulling.

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In an interview with the New York Times, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova said that their time in prison had only emboldened their activism. Asked by the editorial board about their interest in political office, the women replied, "That would be a very interesting opportunity for us, maybe we should try to do that."

Whether or not they are serious about a run for office, the outspoken activists have made it clear that they are not backing away from their critiques of the Russian government.

“We always insisted from the very beginning that Pussy Riot is first and foremost a political group which is using art as a way to express its political opinion because it’s impossible to do so through any legal means,” Tolokonnikova told the Times. “No dialogue is possible with the Russian authorities and they have proven that again and again.

“When the whole country sees completely innocent people being jailed, and authorities make it very clear that this can happen to absolutely anyone, that of course is going to make a lot of people become more silent,” she continued. “But not everybody agrees to be silent, and right now our task is to unite those people once again.”


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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