Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Released

December 23, 2013
Photo: @gruppa_voina

Both remaining imprisoned members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been released from prison this morning.


1929 GMT: Maria Alyokhina has arrived in Moscow.

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1722 GMT: Translation of Nadezhda Tolokonnnikova’s interview with TV Dozhd up.

@gruppa_voina tweets that Maria Alyokhina will be arriving at Moscow’s Kursky Station at 23.15 MSK (19:15 GMT) in carriage number 5.

Maria Alyokhina described being told this morning that she was “free” and being taken straight to a waiting black Volga car without any opportunity to say goodbyes. On meeting reporters outside the prison, she declared that she had been “keen to reject the amnesty, but the prison had received an order.” In an interview with TV Dozhd, she said that: “If I could refuse Putin’s charity, I would.” She wants to meet with human rights activists to focus on the plights of other prisoners. She added that “Now I’m not afraid of anything anymore. Believe me.”

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s release followed a few hours later, on leaving she shouted “Russia without Putin”. She said that:

“They just put on another show ahead of the Olympics, such is their big desire to prevent all European countries from boycotting our Russian Olympics. But let us remember about all those people who are not much talked about and are even forgotten but who still need to come out of their jails as they don’t belong here.”

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“The border between being free and not free is very thin in Russia, a totalitarian state.”

TV Dozhd conducted the live interview with her here: (Russian). When asked if she was planning on leaving the country, she replied:

“By no means… I don’t know what else can intimidate someone who has been inside for almost two years. I have grown more determined.”

The two have exchanged a phone call. Alykohnia is reported to be heading to Moscow, but then on to Krasnoyarsk to meet with her bandmate.