Pussy Riot: Wayward Members Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina No Longer in Band

Monica Simoes
Pussy Riot on stage during the Amnesty International Concert in Brooklyn, New York.

As Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are visiting the United States, their former fellow Pussy Riot members issued a statement calling on the media to no longer link the two to the feminist punk band.

"As it happened that we and [Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina] are now on the different sides of the barricades, please, separate us," reads the post on the Pussy Riot blog, signed by five band members, who have remained anonymous throughout the entire Pussy Riot case.

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"Remember, we are no longer [Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina], and they are no longer Pussy Riot," the statement read further.

The signatories, who used the nicknames Kot, Garadzha, Fara, Shaiba, Serafima and Schumacher, stressed that they were happy to see Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina released from prison last December under an amnesty bill. They also thanked everyone who supported the two jailed women, sentenced to a two-year imprisonment for the anti-Putin "punk prayer" at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012.

"Unfortunately, we cannot personally congratulate them on that because they refuse any contacts with us," they said.

“However, to our regret, [Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina] got so much immersed in problems at Russian prisons that they completely forgot about the agenda and ideals of our band, such as feminism, separatist resistance, fight against totalitarianism and personality cult, [the pursuing of] which, basically, led to their unfair punishment,” said the anonymous feminist punk rockers.

Pussy Riot members were especially upset by the fact that a poster for a recent Amnesty International concert in New York, which featured a stage address from Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, contained a drawing of a man sporting a balaclava. "We are a female separatist group, and a man cannot represent us either in real life or on a poster," they said.

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The statement also stressed that the Christ the Savior Cathedral performance featured five Pussy Riot members, of which two have remained anonymous and another one, Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was jailed alongside Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, was released on probation in the fall of 2012. An earlier illegal gig near Red Square featured eight musicians.

Meanwhile, during the Amnesty Internationalconcert at New York's Barclay's Center on Feb. 6, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were led onstage by Madonna and made an address, in which they called for release of all political prisoners.

This article originally appeared on THR.com.