Pussy Riot imprisoned for World Cup final demonstration

Pussy Riot imprisoned for World Cup final demonstration
Veronika Nikulshina

On July 15, at the second half of France v Croatia, about the 52nd minute, three girls and a young man in police uniforms invaded the pitch of Luzhniki stadium. They rushed to the pool of players, interrupting the attack of the Croatian national team, and tried to hug football players.

The Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow found four members of Pussy Riot Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Kurachyova, Olga Pakhtusova and Pyotr Verzilov that invaded the pitch during 2018 World Cup final at Luzhniki in police uniforms guilty of committing an administrative violation on Monday. "To recognize guilty of committing an offense under part 3 of Article 20.31 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (Gross Violation of the Spectators’ Rules at official sports competitions) and appoint a 15-day administrative arrest," a court ruling stated.

Also, all four are prohibited to attend official sports events on the territory of Russia for three years, Interfax reports. Thus, all four members of Pussy Riot received the maximum penalty provided under this article. Lawyer of convicts Nikolay Vasiliev said that the punishment imposed by the court is too harsh and he intends to challenge it in the Moscow City Court.

On July 15, at the second half of France v Croatia, about the 52nd minute, three girls and a young man in police uniforms invaded the pitch of Luzhniki stadium. They rushed to the pool of players, interrupting the attack of the Croatian national team, and tried to hug football players.

The final match of the 2018 World Cup was interrupted. Stewards removed young people from the pitch. Violators were dragged from the fields by the feet and by the hands.

As it turned out, they were members of the Pussy Riot: Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Kurachyova, Olga Pakhtusova and Pyotr Verzilov. A statement from Pussy Riot said the aims of their protest included making the Russian authorities free all political prisoners, including Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov going on a hunger strike.

A video of the rough interrogation of detainees was published. "I need handcuffs for both! You, bloody scum, who are you? Introduce yourself!”

"Do you know that Russia will be penalized for this?" the policeman added. Verzilov asked: "Why?" "Because the day of the week ends in “y”!" replied the officer.

"You put Russia under penalty sanctions. You shit all over, are you happy?" the guardian turned to Verzilov and Nikulshina. "Sometimes I regret that it's not 1937," the person off-camera says, alluding to the communist-era terror campaign instigated by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

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