Pride

Pussy Riot Members Arrested in Russia Following LGBTQ Flag Protest

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot
Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Icelandic Glacial

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot performs at Secret Solstice Festival powered by Icelandic Glacial on June 21, 2019 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

To "celebrate" Russian president Vladimir Putin's 68th birthday on Wednesday, members of the protest punk rock outfit Pussy Riot hoisted rainbow LGBTQ pride flags outside five government buildings in Moscow in protest of the Russian government's continued denial of LGBTQ rights.

And on Thursday (Oct. 8), the band posted multiple tweets saying that four of the collective's members, including members Sasha Sofeev, Maria Alyokhina and Veronica Nikulshina, have been arrested following their protest. "Pussy Riot's Sasha Sofeev is detained now," a post on the group's Twitter account read. "The police has broken into his home, now he's in the police station, facing potentially 30 days of arrest. 4 other activists who participated in the rainbow flag action were detained earlier too, but they were let go before the trial."

In one of their tweets, the group attached a video, showing Alyokhina being arrested by police outside of TV Rain before a scheduled interview she had with the independent station. TV Rain confirmed the news, posting similar clips to their Twitter and writing, "Police officers followed Maria Alyokhina to the second floor and detained her at the door of the editorial office" in Russian.

Named the "Pussy Riot Rainbow Flag Action" on their Twitter, the band's protest saw members hang rainbow flags outside five government buildings in Moscow: the FSB headquarters, the Administration of the President, the Supreme Court building, the Ministry of Culture and a police station.

The group also posted a list of demands alongside photos of the flags online, which included demands like "investigate the killings and kidnappings of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer people in Chechnya," "legalize same-sex partnerships" and "stop harassment of activists and organizations who help the LGBTQ community."

Check out photos of Pussy Riot's rainbow flag protest, and the group's statements about the subsequent arrests of their members, below: