Pussy Riot Members Sentenced to 15 Days in Jail For World Cup Protest, Release Throbbing 'Track About Good Cop'

Sacha Lecca
Pussy Riot

Russian punk performance collective Pussy Riot have announced the names of the four members sentenced to jail for their brazen protest during Sunday's (July 15) World Cup finals game at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The group said that Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Pakhtusova, Olga Kurachyova and Pyotr Verzilov will spend the next two weeks in "administrative detention" in addition to being banned from attending any sporting events for the next three years for their "Policeman Enters the Game" stunt.

Following the globally televised intrusion -- in which the three women and one man ran onto the field at the 52-minute mark dressed in official-looking police uniforms -- the group explained that it was intended as a metaphor for how the Russian state inserts itself into its citizen's lives. Verzilov, the civil law partner of Riot co-founder Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, wrote on Facebook that the women had been sent to one Moscow detention center and he'd been sent to a different one.

The band also released a new single on Tuesday (July 17) entitled "Track About Good Cop," which they explained was intended as "a utopian dream about alternative political reality in which instead of arresting activists and putting them in jail cops are joining activists. The world where cops got rid of homophobia, stopped the war on drugs and actually understood that it's much better to be joyful and nice to people." The frenetic dance track features lyrics about cops "kissing under the clouds" and has an accompanying video with men and women dressed in military gear dancing on a snowy street.

Even as they condemned Sunday's arrests and detentions, the group praised what they deemed a victory in court against the Russian government in the wake of the European Court of Human Rights' condemnation of the Russian state for its "harsh, humiliating and severe treatment" of Pussy Riot members arrested after a 2012 protest in the Moscow cathedral. The group rose to prominence in 2011 with their daring outdoor performances that criticized President Vladimir Putin and Russia's ruling elite. The impromptu "punk prayer" at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior derided the ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin, leading to three members being convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for the action, with two spending nearly two years in prison following the incident.

Check out the band's new song and Facebook updates below.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.