The leader of the Russian feminist collective Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, has fled Russia with foreign aid and her friends to avoid becoming a victim of the growing repression imposed on the country by President Vladimir Putin, reported The New York Times.

Alyokhina began her activism when his punk music band and performing arts group Pussy Riot staged their first anti-Putin protest in 2012, in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, for which she was sentenced to two years in prison.

Having been imprisoned multiple times for similar protests, last April, as Putin cracked down more harshly on any criticism of his war in Ukraine, the authorities announced that Alyokhina, then under house arrest, would go on to serve 21 days in a prison sentence. penal colony.

The activist then decided that she would leave Russia, at least temporarily.and disguised herself as a food delivery woman to evade Moscow police who had been surveilling a friend’s apartment where she was staying.

She left her mobile phone there as a decoy to avoid being tracked, added the New York newspaper, to which Aliójina herself told her adventures.

A friend took her to the border with Belarus and it took her a week to cross into Lithuania. In a studio in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, she agreed to be interviewed by The New York Times to describe what it called a dissident’s harrowing flight from Putin’s Russia.

“I was glad I made it because it was a big, unpredictable goodbye kiss.” for the Russian authorities, Alyokhina told the newspaper ironically. “I still don’t fully understand what I’ve done,” she admitted.

Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of the Interior included her on its list of people wanted and captured after having imposed the last of the sentences and not appearing to enter prison.

The 33-year-old artist has spent her entire adult life fighting for her country to respect its own Constitution and the most basic human rights, such as freedom of expression.

After being released from prison before completing her sentence, in December 2013, she and another member of the Pussy Riot founded Mediazona, an independent media outlet focused on crime and punishment in Russia.

He also wrote a memoir, “Riot Days,” and traveled internationally performing a show based on that writing.

Alyokhina also participated in demonstrations in support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni, which took place in early 2021 and were violently repressed by the Russian police.

The activist had promised to remain in Russia despite surveillance and pressure from the authorities, but now, the newspaper noted, she has joined the tens of thousands of Russians who have fled since the invasion of Ukraine, which began last February 24.

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